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Nancy Lange, MD, MPH, and David Walton, MD, MPH, spent their residency learning firsthand about issues in global health by caring for patients and seeing different public health infrastructures in some of the poorest parts of the world.
“I’ve had some really amazing opportunities that I never imagined during this residency,” said Lange, who, along with Walton, became the first graduates of BWH’s Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine. The residency program was established in 2004 in honor of Howard Hiatt, MD, associate chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities, to train physicians in the clinical, social and administrative factors that affect health care in poor settings.
“It’s wonderful that one of the world’s foremost teaching hospitals has this program,” said Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, associate chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities. Farmer co-founded Partners In Health (PIH) with Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities.
During his residency, Walton worked to treat HIV and tuberculosis and expand health facilities in Haiti. After graduation, he will join the staff as a hospitalist at BWH and spend the remainder of the year working with PIH in Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa. He will return to Haiti this summer.
“One of my main roles is to train community health workers to find patients with HIV and tuberculosis and then fast track them to get medicine,” he said. “It’s an incredible privilege to have the support to do what we’re doing in these settings.”
Lange spent much of her residency in Rwanda, where she conducted research to try to improve the ability to diagnose tuberculosis in low resource settings where there is little access to cultures or modern imaging. She also spent time treating patients in clinics.
“I was stationed at the health center, working with patients everyday while assessing what the clinics needed from a human resources and materials standpoint,” said Lange, who begins a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in July.