The Department of Medicine Global Health Pathway was started in July 2013 to enhance the opportunities for global health training for Medicine and Medicine-Pediatrics residents. Residents interested in the track can apply mid-way through their intern (for Medicine residents) or 2nd year (for Medicine-Pediatrics residents). Residents who complete the track receive a certificate of completion acknowledging their participation at the end of residency.
The track consists of five main components:
Residents have the opportunity to work abroad for one month in both their PGY-2 and PGY-3 years in Malawi, Peru, or Thailand. The costs of the international electives are covered by the Department of Medicine, including flights, housing, local transportation and stipend.
A longitudinal curriculum takes place in the evenings with lectures that cover topics pertinent to global health including, but not limited to, HIV, TB, malaria, STIs, dermatology, disaster preparedness, and public health. We also highlight the global health work of UCLA faculty and explore pertinent research topics through journal clubs lead by the residents. The workshops include teaching in malaria diagnostics, bedside ultrasound, and medical Spanish.
Residents will be matched with a mentor in global health to aid in developing a scholarly project and to personalize their training in line with their career and goals.
The scholarly project can manifest in multiple ways, including case presentations, literature reviews, or clinical research with one of the UCLA faculty.
In addition to the international rotations, local clinic experiences are arranged in underserved settings to take advantage of global health locally. Residents participate in clinics at Los Angeles Free Clinic (Simms Mann), the Travel Tropical Medicine Clinic, and our affiliated HIV clinics (CARE and THE). We are continuously developing new relationships with other pertinent clinics, such as a nearby Leprosy and Leishmaniasis clinic.
For those interested in global health, the Malawi rotation has consistently been one of the most eye opening, educational and life changing experiences in residency. Since 2007, the UCLA Department of Medicine has established a formal rotation at Partners in Hope Medical Center in the capital city of Lilongwe, Malawi. Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world with an HIV prevalence in Lilongwe estimated at 20% and it is a leader in Africa with respect to HIV care. Residents participating in this elective staff the free clinic which delivers primary care to HIV/AIDS patients, as well as staff the inpatient ward.
A typical day consists of rounding on your inpatients in the morning, treating cases such as TB meningitis, Cryptococcus meningitis and severe malaria. Afterwards, the residents head over to the free clinic where they will diagnose multiple patients with HIV and educate them on the treatment course as well as manage complications of AIDS such as Kaposi Sarcoma. In addition to HIV/AIDS, the residents become very familiar treating pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB, malaria, other parasitic infections and common routine health problems such as diabetes and hypertension.
Residents will learn first-hand about the barriers to care in Africa and will experience the structure of the health care system by visiting facilities such as the central hospital as well as small community health centers. Partners in Hope is run by U.S. board certified internists and family physicians who supervise the residents as they work alongside Malawian clinical officers and nurses. This rotation is extremely well organized allowing the residents to maximize their clinical experience. Thanks to the generosity of the Department of Medicine, funding is provided for roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles to Malawi, one month accommodation and food, in-country transportation to and from the clinic, and medical evacuation insurance.
The Peru elective is a 4-week clinical elective available to Spanish-speaking residents that takes place at the government hospital (the Hospital Regional de Loreto) in the Peruvian Amazon in the city of Iquitos. Residents will spend the majority of their time in the inpatient Infectious Diseases wards under the supervision of an attending and alongside ID residents at the hospital. Residents will also get the chance to work in outpatient clinics in the “floating” neighborhood of Belen as well as another government community clinics such as Morona Cocha. They will get considerable exposure to diagnoses such as malaria, dengue, leptospirosis, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and helminthic infections. Lastly, there is an opportunity to visit the more rural town of Santa Clotilde to get even more exposure to the rare diseases of the Amazon.
The Thailand elective is a new elective opportunity that takes place at the Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in Bangkok. UCLA has a longstanding relationship with the University and we have recently started an elective for medicine residents. Siriraj Hospital is one of the main government hospitals in Thailand and is affiliated with the oldest medical school in the country, Mahidol University. Residents will spend time on the Infectious Diseases ward and affiliated clinics, with opportunities to rotate on inpatient medicine and traditional Thai medicine. The diseases commonly treated include HIV, TB, malaria, dengue, leptospirosis and melioidosis.
Rounding with the medical teams takes place in English and if needed, translators are used to communicate with patients.
Each year UCLA hosts 2 Infectious Diseases fellows from Siriraj Hospital to help maintain our partnership. Residents will be expected to participate in this bilateral exchange by giving educational presentations at Siriraj Hospital and helping to host their fellows and residents at UCLA.
The costs of the Thailand elective are covered by the Department of Medicine, including flights, housing and travel stipend.