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Preparing doctors to serve underserved populations – whether in the U.S. or abroad – is the goal of the global health track, run by Chuck Schubert, MD, a physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine and associate director of the Residency Training Program.
Ours is one of only a few residency programs in the nation that trains residents to serve people in developing countries. The track developed out of a growing number of requests by residents to spend their elective months working overseas.
Schubert, who worked in a hospital in Zambia, Africa, developed the training track in global health, which launched in 2009.
“It’s a pathway for residents who want to make global health a big part of their career,” he says.
Five new residents are accepted into the track each year. They spend the elective month of their second and third years at one of several sites around the world, from Puerto Rico to Malawi.
This year, for the first time, first-year residents were able to spend their elective month working with the Navajo Indians on their New Mexico reservation.
Schubert says the experience gained in the global health track is beneficial even if a resident’s career path doesn’t lead to a developing country.
“As medical students, they come here wanting to make working overseas with the underserved part of their life,” he says. “But circumstances change. The reality is, a small percentage will actually spend their careers in international medicine. Our hope is they will all spend some time in underserved medicine.”
Chuck Schubert, MD.
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