(May, 2013) The School of Medicine has established several global health track programs to let students learn beyond the borders of the Anschutz Medical Campus. The programs span the world—from the mountains of Nepal to villages in the Amazon—and offer boundless opportunities for members of the campus community to teach, learn and heal.
“Working in global health requires respect for culture and humility,” says Jennifer Whitfield Bellows, MD, MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine and director of th Global Health Track.
“Students need to be thoughtful and sensitive,” says Bellows. “They need the ability to develop analytical processes for creating projects that are beneficial for the patient and community. The driving goal of the Global Health Track is to provide students with the intellectual tools they need to do exactly that.”
Following is a summary of a few current programs:
Nepal. Each year, three to five students travel to Nepal. Most recently, the students worked on developing a consistent teaching process for a new medical school there. Future projects include working on medical waste recycling programs and pathology projects with telemedicine.
Peru. Three to four students per year travel to the rural Peruvian Amazon where they live in rural villages, work one-on-one with health care providers and conduct research on the efficacy of intervention on a community level. The School of Medicine students are joined by three to five students from other schools on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
Rwanda. Two to four students travel each year to this African nation to work on community health projects. Recently students studied the prevalence of non-communicable diseases—such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus—near the Knigi health center.
South Africa. Four to six students annually go to Cape Town where they assist staff in an emergency department in one of the poorer parts of the country. Students learn about trauma and infectious diseases.
Uganda. Two to three students each year work in the Kisiizi hospital in southwestern Uganda where they spend about seven weeks working on clinical projects ranging from patient satisfaction surveys to malarial surveillance.