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David Boyd

Hymowitz Family Professor of the Practice of Global Health
Duke Global Health Institute
Trent 118
(919) 613-4499
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, and his work has focused primarily in Guatemala, China, and East Africa.  

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
Global Health Challenges

Global Health Challenges surveys the major global health problems facing the world today. After providing a theoretical and conceptual framework for understanding these challenges within a biopsychosocial model, the course uses lecture and case discussion to analyze key areas contributing to the global burden of disease: infectious disease; communicable diseases; maternal, reproductive, and child health; and injury, violence, and disaster. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on both understanding the complex interaction of upstream and downstream approaches to improve health outcomes and elucidating successful strategies in reducing health disparities.

Course Notes:
Was: GLHLTH 310
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


Recent Publications

Freedman, D. A., Bess, K. D., Tucker, H. A., Boyd, D. L., Tuchman, A. M., & Wallston, K. A. (2009). Public health literacy defined.. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36(5), 446–451.

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