The Gorgas Diploma Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine is a 9-week course taught in english in the Alexander von Humboldt Tropical Medicine Institute in Lima, Peru for a maximum of 38 participants. It is targeted to physicians, nursing professionals, physician assistants and public health professionals wanting to acquire experience in the field of tropical medicine.


General Objectives

  • To train the next generation of healthcare providers in Tropical Medicine in a multicultural educational program with an exceptional group of international experts on the field.
  • To expose our students to a broad spectrum of tropical diseases and provide them with the foundational clinical knowledge and skills needed to recognize, diagnose, treat and prevent the most relevant tropical diseases keeping a special emphasis in the practice of medicine in urban and rural areas in resource-limited settings.
  • To create a network of experts committed to address the gaps of tropical medicine in global health aiming to improve healthcare services for underserved populations around the globe.



Our curriculum is constantly adapting/evolving to meet the needs of our students and provide them with the best information available on current topics of interest in the ever-changing field of tropical medicine. The material addressed during the course completely covers the outline of the seven major content areas of the CTropMed®-Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers' Health. However, in order to keep up with the constant change in the field of tropical medicine, approximately 10% of the topics may vary from year to year.

The material covered is distributed in the following way:

  • Clinical Immunology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Traveler’s Health
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic approach to clinical syndromes
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Malaria
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Diseases caused by bacteria (other than STI, TB)
  • Diseases caused by virus (other than HIV)
  • Diseases caused by fungi
  • Diseases caused by parasites (other than Malaria)
    • Intestinal protozoa
    • Blood and tissue protozoa
    • Nematodes
    • Cestodes
    • Trematodes
  • Other diseases and conditions
    • Malnutrition, environmental stress, ectoparasites, poisonous plants and animals
  • Laboratory diagnosis

Due to the intensity and quantity of material covered during this course a midterm exam is taken after the 4th week in order to monitor students’ progress. The DTMH diploma will be granted to those who successfully pass the comprehensive examination at the end of the course and fulfills attendance requirements (see Accreditation).


Course Activities

The course’s curriculum is distributed within the following activities:

  Activity   Programmed Hours
  1. Lectures   161 hours
  - Conferences   132
  - Small group tutorials   21
  - Case conferences   4
  - Online learning   4
  2. Clinical Rounds   92 hours
  - Inpatient   58-60
  - Outpatient clinic   34-32
  3. Diagnostic laboratory   36 hours
  4. Field teaching trips and special activities *   29 hours
  TOTAL   318 hours
* Includes Ticlio and other visits in Iquitos. Course activities held in
Cusco and Iquitos are considered within the above categories.

Description of activities

Didactic activities


Traditional lecture format given in 1-hour blocks for 2 hours each morning and in 1.5 hour blocks on most afternoons.

Small Group Tutorials

Small-Group Tutorials are clinically-oriented problem-solving sessions where a senior faculty member presents and leads an interactive discussion on a series of short standardized cases illustrating different aspects of a disease, syndrome, or group of therapeutic agents.

Case Conferences

A written case protocol is presented by a faculty member who then leads an interactive discussion of differential diagnosis and diagnostic workup. Other case conferences will involve teaching cases in a specific subject area collected over time by a faculty member.

Clinical Rounds

Clinical rounds are done in a rotating basis in groups of 6 participants with one senior sub-specialty certified[1] faculty. These are held daily at the Cayetano Heredia Hospital wards and outpatient clinic, Arzobispo Loayza Hospital and Children’s Hospital in Lima for a total of 74 hours, 25% of which are in the areas of Pediatrics, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Neurology and Ophthalmology. At every single round, highly illustrative patients with tropical diseases are seen and discussed by the participants. Clinical rounds in Cusco and Iquitos (16 hours in total) feature patients with prevalent diseases from those specific areas.

Clinical exposure is not merely observational. Intensive interactive clinical teaching by the faculty is done in every group, often including visits to the microbiology or pathology lab for final confirmation of diagnoses. Unlike in many other on-site tropical training settings, the patients seen by Gorgas participants have access to extensive microbiological, immunological, pathological and radiological (CT Scan, MRI) testing so that diagnoses are in most cases confirmed and not merely presumptive.

Diagnostic Laboratory Sessions

Diagnostic Laboratory Sessions consist of 2 parts: a didactic presentation on diagnostic helminthology, protozoology, bacteriology or mycology followed by supervised hands-on study time with the purpose of making students familiar with basic laboratory diagnostic tools and able to properly identify the more common pathogens prevalent in the tropics.

Field teaching trips

There are three field teaching trips during the Gorgas Diploma Course:

Ticlio, first Saturday of the course.

Full-day trip to Ticlio, a mountain pass of the Andes located 15 800 feet above sea level and 750 miles away from Lima. During the ascent, students familiarize with the inter-Andean valley's geography endemic for diseases like leishmaniasis and bartonellosis.

Cusco, 4-day trip during the 5th week of the course.

Arrival to Cusco on Thursday morning; clinical rounds and lectures are programmed for Thursday afternoon and Friday. We highly recommend planning a visit to Machu Picchu on Saturday and finish exploring the beautiful city of Cusco on Sunday morning. Departure to Lima is scheduled for Sunday noon.

Iquitos, 4-day trip during the 9th week of the course.

Arrival to Iquitos on Tuesday morning; clinical rounds, lectures and visits start in the afternoon and are programmed until Friday morning. The Graduation and Closing Ceremony is held at a club in the middle of the Amazon river on Friday afternoon. Participants are responsible for arranging their returning flights to Lima.

Special Activities

Epi-Info training. Planned visits to a rural community, Medicinal Plants market, primary health care facility and traditional healers in the city of Iquitos.

Independent Study

The course is extremely intensive due to its short 9-week duration. In addition to the 325 contact hours of formal teaching, intensive study is required in the off-hours for those desiring to take the Diploma examination at the end of the course. Participants can utilize the Educational Resource Facility during off hours and weekends. Lectures will be available in printed and electronic versions. PCs, reference textbooks, atlases, WHO/PAHO manuals, Epi-Info and travel medicine software are all available.

Typical Daily Schedule

Typical Daily Schedule
(Monday to Friday)
7:00    Bus departure from Miraflores to the Tropical Medicine Institute
7:45 - 9:45    Morning lectures (2)
9:45 - 10:00    Break
10:00 - 12:00    Clinical Rounds
12:00 - 13:15
12:30 - 13:00
   Lunch time
13:15 - 14:45    Diagnostic Laboratory / Small Group Tutorials
15:00 - 16:00    Afternoon lecture (1)
16:00    Bus departure from the Tropical Medicine Institute to Miraflores

Other resources

  • Access to WIFI connection in the classroom.
  • Access to an electronic library in tropical medicine.
  • Access to hard copies of most important tropical medicine textbooks at the Tropical Medicine Institute Alexander von Humboldt.



Certificate in Clinical Tropical Medicine

A Certificate in Clinical Tropical Medicine will be issued jointly by Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Tropical and Preventive Medicine to everyone attending the complete course.

Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene

The Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene will be issued by the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Tropical and Preventive Medicine only to those completing the course and who successfully pass the comprehensive written Diploma Examination given at the end of the course. This will satisfy the didactic requirement for the ASTMH examination process. Eligibility for the Diploma requires:

  • Attendance during all Clinical Rounds sessions on the field trips to Cusco & Iquitos
  • Attendance to a minimum of 95% of all course activities
  • Passing grade in the final course exam

Sitting for the final exam in order to qualify for the Diploma is an entirely optional process.

ASTMH Certification

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene offers Certification in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers Health. Individuals with the Gorgas Diploma will fulfill the didactic requirements to sit the certifying examination. To date, 200 Gorgas graduates have passed the ASTMH examination.

For further information please go to

Graduate Credit Hours

The Gorgas Course has been designated as EPI682 and you can register for anywhere from 3 to 9 hours of graduate credit in the UAB School of Public Health. The School is fully accredited and these hours are transferable to other Universities. Extra charge of about $700/credit hour or $189 for Alabama resident & Academic Common Market (certain southern states; registrants. Advance planning is essential in order to ensure that all is in order and one must apply and register with UAB as a non-degree seeking student (some small fees involved) by November, and register online for EPI 682 by January. Contact Cheryl Johnson +1 934 4996, Prior to actual course registration, contact Kim Hawkins,, for a course "override" in the system, as this is a permission of the instructor course in the UAB system.

CME Credit

125 hours of category 1 credit are available. The cost of this is included in the Gorgas Tuition.
The University of Alabama School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Alabama School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 125 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Application and Logistics

Application and Logistics

The 2020 Gorgas Diploma Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine will
be held between January 27th and March 27th, 2020.


The course is targeted to physicians, nursing professionals, physician assistants, and public health professionals. Non-physicians should contact the Gorgas Institute prior to submitting a full application to assess the suitability of the course to their needs. Medical students are not accepted. Instruction is at the level of the general physician.

Application process

The registration process for the Gorgas Diploma Course is by competitive application. Given the high demand of this course, the application process opens 15 months in advance of the intended start date. Selection of participants is based on applicant international experience, future work engagement in the field of tropical medicine and Letters of Recommendation. There is no prioritization by date of receipt, however, the selection process is done in two rounds: the first round assigns half of the available course places (19) among every application received until December 31st, 2018; the second half of positions will be assigned among the remainder applications, including the ones received until March 31st, 2019. Applicants will be contacted during the second week of January (initial round) or during the second week of April (final round) for a definitive answer.


Maximum of 38 participants.


Tuition for the 2020 Diploma Course is 8,700 USD and includes the transportation and accommodation for the field trips to Cusco and Iquitos. For the latter, tuition covers a one-way ticket to give our students the chance to stay in the Peruvian Amazon after the course closure. Accommodation and meal expenses in Lima are covered by the participant.

Applications for 2020 are closed.
Applications for 2021 will open in October 2020 


Local apartments for short-term lease are available for $1,500-2,500 for a 2-3 bedroom apartment through many websites, rentals can be made in advance. Since 2 or 3 participants sharing an apartment is the most economical arrangement, we facilitate class introductions by e-mail and social media in the 60 days prior to the course. We strongly encourage course participants to rent places in the district of Miraflores due to its safety and easy accessibility to groceries, restaurants, malls and the Pacific coast. Travel time to the bus pick up point must be taken into consideration.


Daily transportation to the course location is covered by the course organizers while in Lima. Buses will depart every day at 7 o’clock from the pickup point in Miraflores and come back from the Tropical Medicine Institute after finishing the afternoon lecture.

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