Dr. John Parks, former UNC Family Medicine resident, has a passion for spreading Family Medicine across the globe. He is now teaching medical students and postgraduate registrars (residents) at the University of Malawi School of Medicine in southeast Africa. The family medicine department established its residency program just last year, and Parks has helped develop the curriculum.
Parks said family physicians are well-suited to practicing medicine internationally because family medicine is about relationships. “Developing relationships and walking alongside people in a country that is not your country of birth — there is a lot of value that can be shared,” he said. “Those relationships enrich both sides.” He plans to stay in Malawi to continue to build the program. “I would love to see the first couple of classes of family medicine residents graduate,” he explained. But then he will move on to spread Family Medicine to other parts of the world. “My wife and I enjoy living in this part of the world,” Parks said. “If you look at the map, there are a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that do not have developed family medicine systems. I would love to help do this again somewhere else.”
UNC Family Medicine is immensely proud of our residents. Ranked #2 in the nation, the department has been fortunate to be in a position to welcome the best and the brightest residents to the program each year. They go on to do amazing things throughout the world.
For more information about Dr. John Parks’ work in Malawi, click here.