Global Health Equity Residency Program Accomplishments

Increasing numbers of young physicians aspire to dedicate their careers to the health of impoverished people in the U.S. and abroad. In 2004, DGHE, the Department of Medicine, and BWH created a unique residency program to address this growing interest. The Doris and Howard Hiatt Residency in Global Health Equity and Internal Medicine is a comprehensive four-year program that includes training in internal medicine; coursework in research methods, public policy and global health advocacy; and research and patient care experiences in impoverished settings at Partners In Health sites around the world. The residency program honors DGHE co-founder, Howard Hiatt, M.D., and his late wife, Doris.

Residents in the program share a deep commitment to fighting disease in the world’s poorest places, and a belief that, as one resident puts it, “In the fight for social justice, each of us will have a crucial role to play.”

Despite an enormously demanding schedule in Boston, residents in the program are already engaged in lifesaving efforts around the world. Their projects target the deadliest treatable diseases—AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—in some of the world’s poorest countries. Accomplishments of past and current residents include:

  • Played a critical role in the immediate response to the earthquake crisis in Haiti, from coordinating medical teams in Port-au-Prince to rehabilitative medicine and prosthetics for Partners In Health.
  • Leading the planning and construction of Haiti’s new national teaching hospital in Mirebalais to replace the central teaching hospital destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake.
  • Lead the planning and inauguration of Rwanda’s new flagship hospital in Butaro.
  • Working with the Liberian Ministry of Health to improve the country’s healthcare services.
  • Co-founded Physicians for Haiti, an NGO that aims to inspire and support the development of Haiti’s next generation of healthcare leaders.
  • Developing a research, advocacy, and support network for the Ocular Melanoma Foundation.
  • Improving district level health services in a rural district of Malawi.
  • Improving healthcare delivery in a district hospital in rural Nepal.
  • Delivering MDRTB treatment at a referral hospital in Lesotho.
  • Training community health workers in Chiapas, Mexico.
  • Developing and implementing oncology treatment protocols in rural Rwanda.
  • Documenting successful efforts in Haiti and Rwanda to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
  • Directing the health component of a preschool health and education intervention called Un Buen Comienzo (UBC), or a Good Start, to improve literacy and health among low-income Chilean children.

Response to the residency has been enthusiastic, attracting attention from universities and teaching hospitals throughout the country. Interest among young physicians is strong, and program enrollment has grown from two residents in 2004 to 19 in 2011.

This promising beginning suggests a bright future, extending Doris and Howard Hiatt’s commitment and compassion to the next generation of physicians and improving the health of patients most in need around the world.

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