by Rebekah Weil

Last year, the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program developed an exciting new initiative to cultivate and support resident interest in international health. The Global Health Track is a multi-faceted program of clinical experience and didactics with investigation of topics including nutrition, disease, and ethics in the developing world. All residents are invited to attend meetings and participate in specialty clinics such as the Travel Clinic, Tuberculosis Clinic, and 1917 Clinic for patients with HIV/AIDS.

One of the most exciting features of the Global Health Track is the ability to partake in an international rotation during the final year of residency. Additionally, one resident is selected to attend the Gorgas Course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which is a nine week diploma course in Lima, Peru. Last year, Dr. Tyler Fuqua (Med-Peds, PGY4) completed the Gorgas course and Dr. Robby Bosshardt (Categorical, PGY3) traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, for a one-month inpatient international rotation. Woman ChildSlingA patient from the Mwandi Maternal Child Health Clinic in Zambia

Currently, the Global Health Track plans to fund travel for three residents per year to locations of their choosing. However, in its second year, a generous anonymous donation was given that has allowed a total of nine residents to participate, including Dr. Joshua Stripling who will attend the Gorgas Course this year.

Dr. William Crosland recently returned from Zambia and says of his experience “I will be working in Mwandi, Zambia throughout my career...There are few places where you can work in a rural fishing village, get your hands dirty in an international setting, see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and take a quick hop across the border to Botswana for a safari at the end.”

The Global Health Track is providing unique opportunities for residents that will hopefully nurture a life-long interest in serving people of the developing world. This program is attractive to interviewing applicants, and augments UAB’s reputation as one the nation’s leading Internal Medicine training programs.

Dr. Martin Rodriguez is the faculty advisor for the Global Health Track. He is happy to answer questions regarding ways alumni can contribute to the continued growth of our Global Health Program.