Global health, a field of health care with a public health emphasis, deals with health across regional or national boundaries. Global health, however, more often refers to health personnel or organizations from one area or nation providing direct health care in another area or nation. More recently, public health experts have become interested in global processes that impact on human health. At the University of Louisville we understand that globalization and health, for example, can illustrate the complex and changing sociological environment within which the determinants of health and disease express themselves.
The Division of International Pediatrics and the Office of Medical Education established collaborative agreements between University of Louisville and medical schools and teaching hospitals at two sites - Ecuador and Ghana.
Pediatrics currently has agreements with hospitals in Quito, Ecuador and Tamale, Ghana, and are continually seeking additional international opportunities. Residents are encouraged to identify their own international opportunity that aligns with their specific focus. We have had residents go to various destinations throughout the world, such as Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Haiti.
“Never did I think I would learn so much about another country, another culture, about being a doctor, about pediatrics and about myself.” --Ilana Kayrouz, MD
The main goal of this rotation is to develop a global perspective on child health through the practice of medicine in a less industrialized setting and a different cultural setting. Below are specific goals of the rotation:
- To develop a global perspective on child health through the practice of medicine in a less industrialized setting and a different cultural context
- To improve physical diagnostic skills through clinical experience in a less sophisticated technological setting
- To develop professional values through exposure to different philosophies of medical ethics, patient-provider relationships and child rights
- To acquire the attitude and skill to provide adequate assessment of the health care needs of children from another culture and nation upon completion of the international elective
- To acquire the skills to provide basic pre-travel care for patients traveling to other regions of the world (i.e.: vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, prescriptions for traveler’s diarrhea, counseling regarding safe food and water)
The Greater Louisville Medical Society also offers annual trips to local under-served areas and international trips. The Greater Louisville Medical Society foundation sponsors it's trips in partnership with Hand-in-Hand ministries. Each year approximately 19 healthcare professionals, including neuro-surgeons, pediatricians, and an OB-GYNs go on the trip bringing medical supplies with them for the communities.
"A clear understanding of the goal of medical missions should be part of the planning from the beginning, and a team should consist of members with mutual respect, a common philosophy, and great communication. The partnership between the Greater Louisville Medical Society and Hand in Hand ministries truly meets these requirements in order to provide essential care to the impoverished people of Managua." --Brandon Watson, U of L Resident
Their goals are “to improve healthcare in needed or disadvantaged areas (local, state, national, international) through medical missions with hopes to encourage fellow-physicians to experience the immense rewards of medical missions.
The first opportunity is through Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps. RAM is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to serving those in underserved populations with free health care, dental care and eye care. The RAM event is held in Pikeville, Kentucky. Previously, a total of 990 patients were treated in this combined effort of the Pikeville community, Other opportunities address international program goals with a medical immersion trip to Managua, Nicaragua. The trip is scheduled annually with emphasis on pediatrics, dermatology, family practice, dentistry, and OB/Gyn.