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From left: Haiti's first Emergency Medicine residents Claude Valéry Pierre Louis, Mirrielle Bien-Aime, Edrist Duneant, Nasra Sindy Altine, Lourdes Rachelle Faikha Colinet and Jean Jimmy Plantin
Recognized as the best teaching hospital in Haiti, the 200-bed Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) plays a major role in training future generations of health care providers and is home to residency programs in General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Pediatrics.
With the leadership of BWH Emergency Medicine attendings Regan Marsh, MD, MPH, and Shada Rouhani, MD, MPH, HUM recently added a fifth program to the roster: the country’s first Emergency Medicine residency.
“This residency is an opportunity to develop a new specialty in the country,” said Rouhani. “The need for Emergency Medicine in Haiti was apparent after the earthquake and continues to be an area of priority for the Haitian government and the Haitian branch of Partners In Health (PIH).”
Marsh says BWH’s Emergency Medicine residency and HUM’s new program are more similar than different. The new residency consists of the same clinical rotations that residents in the U.S. complete and is based heavily on the U.S. training curriculum, which requires a research project and leadership experience. HUM followed the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s international guidelines when creating its residencies, which serve as models for training programs across the country.
“HUM’s faculty are teaching to the real, gold standard of care, but they’re working within the pragmatic reality of what’s available in Haiti,” said Marsh. “They’re doing more with less. The residents are the first emergency doctors in the country. They will professionalize the specialty in Haiti.”
The first cohort of Emergency Medicine residents consists of three women and three men. They are expected to complete the three-year program in 2017.
Marsh and Rouhani credit BWH, PIH and Haitian partners for their help in establishing the program. As with HUM’s other residencies, faculty from BWH and around the U.S. visit the hospital to help care for patients and teach and train the next generation of health professionals.
“This will have a lasting impact on health care in Haiti and quality of care throughout the country,” said Marsh. “We have developed momentum around the specialty of Emergency Medicine in Haiti. There are so many opportunities to save patient lives and impact patient care in a sustainable way.”
Added Rouhani: “We’re both excited about what this means for residents and what it means for Haiti.”