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David Boyd

Hymowitz Professor of the Practice of Global Health
Duke Global Health Institute

Trent 118
(919) 613-4499

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David Boyd


Dr. Boyd is Professor of the Practice of Global Health at the Institute. He is an expert in global health, cross-cultural medicine, and indigenous health issues. He is also Director of the Student Research Training Program in Guatemala.

Before joining Duke, Dr. Boyd was the Associate Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University and taught courses in global health, public health, and social medicine. He was also the founding executive director of the Center for Health and Healing at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Trained in traditional Chinese medicine at the Pacific Institute of Oriental Medicine in New York, Dr. Boyd also holds a BA from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, a PhD in medieval studies from Yale University and has completed postgraduate clinical training in China.

He has traveled, worked, and researched in over 60 different countries.



Title Number Level Semester Requirements Fulfilled
Fundamentals of Global Health

Introduction to global health issues and challenges. Develop an understanding of key concepts, tools, and frameworks essential for continued study in global health. Focus on global disease burden, health determinants and disparities, health policy and actors, and challenges of global health interventions. Explore the importance of understanding and addressing global health through multidisciplinary frameworks of the natural sciences, social-behavioral sciences, humanities, and policy. Consists of lecture and learning labs, intensive small group discussion, and global health case analyses. Intended for undergraduates.

Course Notes:
UG Only SPRING 2018 MAJOR: Core - Fundamentals
MINOR: Fundamentals
Global Health Challenges

Course introduces major global health problems and social, behavioral, economic, biomedical and environmental determinants of health in resource limited settings. Topics include communicable diseases i.e. HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and common childhood diseases; chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental health; and determinants of health associated with these diseases, such as poverty, gender imbalance, culture, poor environmental sanitation, malnutrition, tobacco use, and climate change. Other topics may include health promotion, reproductive health, maternal and child health, and disaster preparedness.

Course Notes:
Was: GLHLTH 310
GRAD Only FALL 2017 MSC: Core
PhD: Core


Recent Publications

Atyeo N*, Vail E*, Frank T*, Sperduto W*, Boyd D. Early Initiation of Breastfeeding Among Maya Mothers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala: Beliefs and Practices. Journal of Human Lactation. DOI: 10.1177/

Premjy A*, Sholar P, Hossain A*, Wanda L*, Winn L*, Potnis K*, Edwards J*, Chadwick L*, Boyd D. The Quest to Eradicate Polio: Lessons Learned from Nigeria’s Challenges and Successes. Center for Global Development Policy Papers. Online 11/2016:

Hoyler B*, Martinez R*, Mehta K*, Nisonoff H*, Boyd D. Beyond Medical Pluralism: Characterizing Healthcare Delivery of Biomedicine and Traditional Medicine in Rural Guatemala. Global Public Health 2016; 14:1-15.

Lunyera J*, Wang D, Maro V, Karia F, Boyd D, Omolo J, Patel U, Stanifer J*. Traditional Medicine Practices Among Community Members with Diabetes Mellitus in Northern Tanzania: An Ethnomedical Survey. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2016; 16:282

Cai Y, Boyd D, Coeytaux R, Ostbye T, Wu B, Mao Z.(2015) Treatment of Chronic Conditions with Traditional Chinese Medicine: Findings from TCM hospitals in Hubei, China, Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 21(1): 40-45.

Culver, K. A., Whetten, K., Boyd, D. L., & O'Donnell, K. (2015). Yoga to Reduce Trauma-Related Distress and Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties Among Children Living in Orphanages in Haiti: A Pilot Study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(9), 539-545. doi: 10.1089/acm.2015.0017

Stanifer JW, Patel UD, Karia F, Thielman N, Maro V, Shimbi D, Boyd, D. (2015) The Determinants of Traditional Medicine Use in Northern Tanzania: A Mixed-Methods Study. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122638. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122638

Gulack BC, Heydari S, Figueroa L, Tew S, Taicher BM, Ross SS, Boyd D, Rice HE. Ranking and rating analyses of barriers to surgical care for children in Guatemala. International Journal of Surgery Research and Practice, 2015 2:032.

Stanifer John, Lunyera Joseph, Boyd David, Karia Francis, Maro Venance, Omolo Justin, Patel Uptal. Traditional medicine practices among community members with chronic kidney disease in northern Tanzania: an ethnomedical survey. BMC Nephrology.2015, 16:170. DOI: 10.1186/s12882-015-0161

Boyd D and Baumgartner W, co-producers. Uneven Ground: Health Challenges of the Modern Maya. Baumgartner W, director. Float-on Films, 2013.

Freedman D, Bess K, Tucker H, Tuchman A, Wallston K, Boyd D. Public health literacy, defined. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009; 36: 446-50.