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Duke Approves Global Health Residency

January 06, 2008

Beginning in the 2008-09 academic year, physicians who want extra training in international health will have a new option at Duke.

The Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health (HYC) and the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) have been awarded Duke University Health System funding to begin a new global health residency training program. The program will include study toward a master’s degree in the field of public health and nine months working at one of Duke’s global health sites. Initially, residents will receive a master’s of public health (MPH) through UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Eventually, DGHI intends to offer a Master of Science in Global Health.

The global health residency will be the first program to be supported by Duke’s Graduate Medical Education Innovation Fund.  The fund, established in 2006 by Duke University Health System as part of a $280 million support to the Medical Center’s academic programs, seeks to sustain Duke’s tradition of innovation in training physicians and health professionals.

The Global Health Residency Program builds on a program in existence for over 20 years in the Department of Medicine (DOM). This program provided short term clinical rotations overseas.  At the request of Chancellor for Health Affairs Victor Dzau, Ralph Corey, MD, director of the HYC, and his colleagues drafted a proposal for a new, more intensive Global Health Residency Training Program.  This unique training program will now be available to residents across the medical center.

“Duke’s medical students and residents—like growing numbers of people at Duke and across the country—are excited about the profound difference we can make in the lives of people in developing countries,” said Dzau. “The Hubert-Yeargan Center has a track record of successful international research, education, and service partnerships, and is well equipped to train future leaders in global health. This is an important step forward for Duke Medicine’s global health efforts.”

Nathan Thielman, MD, MPH, associate professor in Duke’s Division of Infectious Diseases and an HIV/AIDS researcher at KCMC, has been appointed as the faculty director of the Global Health Residency Program.  Christopher Woods, MD, MPH, associate professor in Duke’s Division of Infectious Diseases, will be working with the Duke Global Health Institute to develop the MSc in global health curriculum.

“This program will expose physicians early in their careers to global health issues, and give them the opportunity to develop competencies in global health research and practice in the field,” says Michael Merson, MD, director of the DGHI. “This sort of early training is vital to developing physicians who not only have a passion to improve health worldwide, but who will eventually become physician leaders in global health.”

For more information, visit the Global Health Residency website.

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