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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.

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 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.