International Health Project

A Partnership Between the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program & Gulu Regional Hospital, Uganda

 Amanda Hill, MB, BCh, FRCPC

J. Mark Roberts, MD, FRCPC

Graydon S. Meneilly, MD, FRCPC

Laura Moss – Program Administrator

The International elective program has been in place for 8 years and 62 residents have participated to date as well as 29 faculty visits. There are a number of different elements to this program that have developed since we initiated it in 2007

Clinical electives

We completed our five year commitment to Donald Fraser Hospital and since 2013 we have been working at the Gulu Regional hospital allied with the Gulu University Medical School in post conflict northern Uganda. We are members of a coalition of universities working in this area – the University of Manchester and MacMaster University through the Uganda-UK alliance and have committed to supporting this program for five years. Our work in Gulu is supporting the clinical care that is provided in the regional hospital that is very under resourced in terms of staff and goods. This provides the residents a chance to understand the impact of poverty on health and well being and learn about diseases that are uncommon in Canada. The residents and faculty are very involved in bedside teaching of 3rd and 5th year medical students from the Gulu Univerity Medical school. There are also Medical officers on the ward who have little organized teaching and they also benefit from the input from the UBC staff.

Quotes from residents

Overall an extremely valuable experience, one of the most enriching of my medical career to date.”

“This rotation was the best month that I have had during my entire residency”

“Probably one of the most valuable rotations I have had. The learning opportunities were endless. I loved being able to teach the medical students as well as learn so much from them.”

The rotation was rated among the third best rotations in the residency program in 2015 with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Long-term impact on residents

We surveyed the alumni form the program as to whether they were involved in global or northern health or work in marginalized populations. Of 25 responses – 4 have committed a large or full time of their practice to northern or rural practice and 6 to global health. A further 7 have committed some part of their practice to global or northern health or marginalized populations. So about 27% of 62 residents and about 70 % of respondents are or were involved in some way after completing this elective. This is very consistent with the literature. The residents did not change direction because of this experience but felt supported in their passion for global health work and developed mentorship relationships with faculty through this experience.