The Lawrence Family Medicine Residency is committed to preparing residents to serve underserved people, wherever they are, in both high and low resource environments. We believe global health experiences are an important part of our residents’ preparation for this mission, a mission which transcends national boundaries. Lawrence, Massachusetts proudly calls itself “the City of Immigrants” and is a gateway to the United States for many of our patients; gaining insight outside the U.S. healthcare context is therefore valuable. In addition to our Spanish curriculum, we believe cultural competency is an important trait of an optimally trained family physician. There is also no better way to experience a bit of what our patients feel as new immigrants by spending time in a non-English-speaking country, with a different culture.
These rotations are distant from our Spanish immersion curriculum, which take place at language schools in Central and South America and Mexico.
Although we do offer an Area of Concentration in Global Health, virtually all Lawrence residents participate in our Global Health curriculum during their residency. Our Global Health experiences are characterized by several important qualities:
- Global health experiences are led by core Lawrence Family Medicine Residency faculty, who work with our residents (1-3 at a time) in an ongoing medical clinic or hospital. The depth of the medical and cultural experience for residents is therefore much deeper than a “medical tourism” approach to global health.
- Our faculty members all have a very long-standing relationship with these communities that go back many years; in some cases, the faculty member held a previous full-time job there prior to coming to Lawrence.
- We offer a wide variety of types of medical experiences, all with a particular “flavor” of curricular emphasis besides the different countries and cultural immersion. For example, our Guatemala rotation emphasizes hospital and maternity care, our Nicaragua and Nepal rotations both feature remote rural experiences, our Zambia rotation an HIV/ID emphasis, and our Ghana experiences has a surgical emphasis.
- “Resident as Teacher” is a major component of all our global health rotations – we want our time to transcend our presence. Project sustainability and empowerment of those we serve are our overriding goals.
- Residents may, of course, set up independent rotations in other countries depending on their interests or career goals.
Global Health Elective Rotations with Lawrence Family Medicine Faculty
(in alphabetical order)