At Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique, the patients suffer from diseases that a doctor might never see in the U.S.: malaria, cholera, or drug resistant tuberculosis, for example. Important research takes place despite limited resources. Internal medicine residents divide their time between their clinical duties and the moonlighting jobs that finance their medical education.
Beginning this month, UCSD internal medicine doctors are working side by side with their counterparts in Maputo. The new Global Medicine elective rotation in the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is underway.
It’s a bilateral exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) School of Medicine in Maputo. The purpose is to enrich the training programs and the research efforts at both institutions.
Dr. Seth Goldman, a third-year resident in internal medicine, is the first UCSD trainee to take part. He’ll spend almost 4 weeks in Maputo, departing as the next resident arrives from UCSD to take his place.
Supervising the residents in Maputo is Michael Preziosi, MD, who graduated from the Internal Medicine Residency Program in June. He’ll spend a full year in Maputo as Assistant Professor of Medicine, and clinical director for the UCSD residents.
“Our research and education presence in Maputo will equip us to prepare our next generation of internal medicine specialists and researchers,” says Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kaushansky directs the Global Medicine program for UCSD.
UCSD’s Global Medicine faculty leaders include Robert (Chip) Schooley, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and colleague Professor Constance Benson, MD, who directs the Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.“
This is an exciting opportunity for UCSD and for UEM,” says Dr. Schooley.
He and Dr. Benson have collaborated with researchers in Mozambique and other African nations since the mid-1990s.
It was their interest in doing research work with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed that brought UEM to the foreground when the UCSD Department of Medicine began its search for potential Global Medicine rotation sites.
Emilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, a gifted parasitology researcher, is a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine.
She and Sam Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine and, until recently, Chair of the Department of Medicine, are UEM’s participating faculty who have worked closely with Dr. Kaushansky to design this unique partnership.
Both have accepted faculty appointments in UCSD’s Department of Medicine.
“Our long-term goal is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”
— Dr. Schooley
For UCSD, the Global Medicine program reflects the Department of Medicine’s commitment to enlarge its efforts in the field of global medicine. The new elective will broaden the program offered to internal medicine residency trainees.
“Our faculty, residents, and fellows will have the opportunity to see diseases such as TB and malaria that we see much less often here in the U.S.,” Dr. Schooley says, “and actually to take part in revitalizing postgraduate medical education in Moçambique.”
A generation after a civil war that drove all but a few doctors from the country, the government of Moçambique is striving to build a sustainable healthcare system that can meet the nation’s urgent need for physicians and medical leaders.
UCSD’s involvement at UEM is part of this effort, as is funding for the UEM departments of parasitology and medicine by the Gilead Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, LLC.
The Gilead Foundation contributed along with the UCSD Center for AIDS Research to the refurbishing of Dr. Noormahomed’s laboratory at UEM. It’s also a key sponsor of the UCSD Global Medicine rotation.
It’s hoped that additional philanthropic gifts from other sources will continue to support the Global Medicine exchange and other collaborative projects between UCSD and UEM.
UCSD’s presence at UEM will nourish medical research programs and promote the use of evidence-based medicine and epidemiological methods in patient care.
During the early months of this inaugural year, Dr. Preziosi is focusing on establishing relationships, learning the language, and determining the needs of the UEM medical trainees and researchers.
“I’m really excited,” he says. “It’s clear to me how important my job is as a continuous presence in Maputo.”
He and his UCSD colleagues will work with UEM to establish a more academic day in the medical training program. They’ll also develop a number of research studies.
“We’ll work with their residents and investigators,” he says, “to do the projects that really matter.”
Dr. Preziosi hopes to have launched the first group of new research projects by the end of the year. In June 2010, he will return to UCSD to begin his fellowship training in infectious diseases.
The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents. During the 2009-2010 academic year, over 20 UCSD internal medicine trainees will complete the Global Medicine rotation in Maputo.
Additional UCSD Department of Medicine faculty will rotate through Maputo for 3-4 week periods over the course of the year, working alongside their Mozambican colleagues to augment the Internal Medicine training program at Maputo Central Hospital. Dr. Randy Taplitz, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will join Dr. Preziosi in early August.
Department of Medicine faculty rotating through Maputo live in an apartment, located several blocks from the medical school complex, with Dr. Preziosi and the UCSD residents.
Starting later this year, UEM residents will travel to UCSD to spend 2-3-month periods in research and clinical work here.
“Our long-term goal,” says Dr. Schooley, “is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”
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We’re building practical, sustainable programs here at home and in our partner nations.
Your gift in any amount will go directly to help train a doctor, continue a key research project, or equip a community with the knowledge it needs to fight the spread of a preventable disease.
For more information about philanthropy and the Department of Medicine’s international programs, please contact Dan Otto, Senior Executive Director of Development, at 858-246-1563.
UCSD Department of Medicine faculty volunteers of all specialties are welcome to participate in the Global Medicine program in Maputo.
To make your interests known or to find out more, please contact:
Global Medicine Program Coordinator