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Background: Since the early 1990s there has been a burgeoning interest in global health teaching in undergraduate medical curricula. In this article we trace the evolution of this teaching and present recommendations for how the discipline might develop in future years.DiscussionUndergraduate global health teaching has seen a marked growth over the past ten years, partly as a response to student demand and partly due to increasing globalization, cross-border movement of pathogens and international migration of health care workers. This teaching has many different strands and types in terms of topic focus, disciplinary background, the point in medical studies in which it is taught and whether it is compulsory or optional.We carried out a survey of medical schools across the world in an effort to analyse their teaching of global health. Results indicate that this teaching is rising in prominence, particularly through global health elective/exchange programmes and increasing teaching of subjects such as globalization and health and international comparison of health systems.