By Bette Jo Garrett, Senior Writer
Malaria. Cholera. Drug-resistant tuberculosis. At Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique, the patients suffer from diseases that a doctor might never see in the U.S. Or as the world gets smaller, might see very soon! The Internal Medicine residents divide their time between the educational program and the local clinics, where they moonlight to finance their studies.
Now, 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.
Launched in July, it’s a bilateral exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) School of Medicine in Maputo. Its purpose is to enrich the training programs and the research efforts at both institutions.
Seth Goldman, MD, a third-year resident in internal medicine, was the first UCSD trainee to take part. He spent almost four weeks in Maputo, departing as the next resident arrived from UCSD to take his place.
Supervising the residents in Maputo is Michael Preziosi, MD, who graduated from the UCSD 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,” said Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Medicine. He 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,” said Schooley.
He and Benson have collaborated with researchers in Mozambique and other African nations since the mid-1990s.
It was their interest in doing research work with Emilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, that brought UEM to the foreground when the UCSD Department of Medicine began its search for potential Global Medicine rotation sites.
To design this unique partnership, Kaushansky has worked closely with two faculty members at UEM. Noormahomed, a gifted parasitology researcher, is a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine. Sam Patel, MD, is a professor of Medicine and, until recently, chair of the Department of Medicine. Both have accepted faculty appointments in UCSD’s Department of Medicine.
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.,” Schooley said, “and actually to take part in revitalizing postgraduate medical education in Mozambique.”