International electives are an amazing opportunity to experience life and medicine within another culture and health care environment with illnesses and severity of disease that is not encountered in the United States. The UNC Pediatric Residency encourages international experience during residency. Several residents are currently developing a Global Health curriculum to increase awareness of current issues and have also produced a guide: 10 Steps to Planning Your Global Health Elective. Past residents and attendings have traveled to countries all over the globe, including several sites in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Resources and mentorship are available for those interested in international travel.
UNC - UNAN-León Partnership in Global Health
In 2014, the Department of Pediatrics entered into a formal educational exchange program between the two medical schools. UNC residents, as one of their electives, can spend one month in beautiful León, Nicaragua, working alongside UNAN-León residents and faculty in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Pediatric subspecialty rotations are available, as are opportunities to engage in research and quality improvement projects. Logistics and expectations of the rotation are well-defined, though flexibility exists to personalize each resident’s educational experience. Proficiency in Spanish is required. After clinical obligations are over, residents may also take advantage of language classes, as well as nearby attractions such as Cerro Negro Volcano and Las Peñitas beach. Contact: Dr. Rick Hobbs for more details.
UNC - Project Malawi
The University of North Carolina Project-Malawi (UNC Project) is a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Malawi Ministry of Health. It is based on the campus of Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe.
The mission of UNC Project-Malawi is to identify innovative, culturally acceptable, and affordable methods to improve the health of the people of Malawi, through research, health systems strengthening, prevention, training, and care.
For more information, please visit the Project Malawi website.
Volunteer in Laos: Laos Friends Hospital for Children
Lao Friends Hospital for Children, opened on February 11, 2015, is in great need of volunteers as they continue to grow and expand. Applications are accepted on a rolling and continual basis throughout the year. They are currently seeking Nurses and Doctors, in particular senior residents and fellows. All trained medical professionals and individuals interested in volunteering are welcome to send their resume at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Tim Weiner, UNC Division of Pediatric Surgery, serves on the Board of the parent organization, Friends Without A Border, and can act as a point of contact for interested volunteers. A minimum 4 week commitment is requested. More information is available at https://www.fwab.org/volunteer.
Pediatric residents rotate through Sekou Toure Regional Hospital and Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania for a unique perspective on inpatient pediatric care in Sub-Saharan Africa. Residents function as consultants and educators, working alongside Tanzanian residents, interns, and medical students to care for sick children. Residents teach in multiple settings: at the bedside on rounds, in small group sessions with medical students, and by practical procedural skills development for students and interns. Preparation is provided ahead of time with resources for teaching in a different environment with limited access to resources. All medical education and rounds are conducted in English. There is also flexibility should residents want to pursue quality improvement or research projects with the host institutions. In residents spare time residents can explore the area around Lake Victoria or take a weekend excursion to the Serengeti National Park just a couple hours away! Contact: Dr. Erica Bjornstad for more details.
Shanghai Children's Medical Center
Pediatric Residents can rotate through Shanghai Children's Medical Center as an elective. Ketan Nadkarni, PGY-2, just returned from a month there. "During my second year as part of the Charles Sanders-Project Hope program. I rotated through 4 departments: general inpatient, respiratory, traditional chinese medicine, and heme-onc. Feel free to contact me for any further information."
Other residents have also done rotations in Spain, India, Thailand, Haiti, Honduras, and Kenya.