Global Health Programs
In addition to providing primary health care to the citizens of Virginia, the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health is looking beyond U.S. borders to assist patients in marginalized and impoverished communities overseas. Our department global health program partners our own faculty and students with a variety of other organizations in order to provide our students and resident physicians with a safe, enjoyable and high-quality experience in sustainable community development.
Since 2003, we have led five brigades to Pinares, Honduras. These trips have involved numerous faculty, five family medicine residents and 25 health professions students. In addition to providing direct clinical care to the members of this impoverished mountain area, we have initiated clean water and child health projects with great success.
Since 2007, we have also partnered with the College of William and Mary’s Student Organization for Medical Outreach and Sustainability (SOMOS) to provide direct clinical care and partner with community empowerment and development efforts in a marginalized barrio on the northwest edge of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. These service trips occur yearly, and have included dozens of clinicians and health professions students.
Residents and students participating in our global health program strengthen their clinical judgment and physical exam skills, in addition to developing enhanced skills in cultural competency and communication. Through service to developing nations, students also learn how to build relationships with communities, develop sustainable medical services and better appreciate the importance of health disparities and barriers to care. All of this knowledge and skill can then be applied to patient care here at home.
The VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health works in partnership with multiple other groups on our global health efforts. These groups include:
- Hombro a Hombro
- VCU-Fairfax Family Medicine Residency Program
- VCU-Shenandoah Family Medicine Residency Program
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