Nicole F. O'Brien, MD
Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers residents the opportunity to participate in a two year certificate program in global health. The program provides residents with a better understanding of the medical challenges faced in other countries and prepares you for careers and activities that involve the field of global health.
This program offers you an in-depth global health didactic series, mentorship from international scholars and faculty with global health experience, global health journal clubs and workshops.
You will also have the opportunity to complete a one month global health elective experience, practicing medicine first hand with those who provide care in developing countries or learning about more advanced techniques and practices from colleagues in other developed parts of the world.
This program responds to the needs and interests of a growing number of residents who are interested in a more comprehensive global health education and ensures that NCH Pediatric Residency remains one of the country’s top programs.
|Global Health Curriculum Self-Assessment||Complete self-assessment tool to identify areas of interest/ strengths/ weaknesses in global health||Upon entrance to the certificate program and at completion of the program|
|Global Health Curriculum Didactics||Online modules, international SIG, noon conferences relevant to global health||Documented 30 hours of contact time over two years of program|
|Global Health Mentor Meetings||Meet regularly with Faculty Mentor||Quarterly meetings with Faculty Mentor|
|Stecker Scholar Program||Stecker Scholar one-on-one sessions||At least three meetings with assigned Stecker Scholar Buddy|
|Global Health Elective||
Local Option: Four week experience including time at NCH travel, HIV and international adoption clinics
International Option: Four week international experience (must meet all elective and institution guidelines)
|At least one of these options is required during the two year program|
|Global Health Curriculum Program Evaluation||Resident to complete program evaluation||Completed at the end of the program|
Global Health Curriculum Journal
Club / Blog
As part of self-assessment resident will journal about what they have learned, how they will use their experiences in their career and respond to journal club
presentations / articles
|Ongoing: Monthly postings in response to presentations & articles. Weekly postings while on Global Health Elective|
|Final Project / Presentation||Under guidance of faculty mentor, resident must complete Global Health Curriculum Project and present at noon conference, journal club, SIG etc.||Within last six months of program|
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I knew going into residency that I had a strong interest in international medicine, and I chose this program in particular because they were willing to help me pursue my interest.
My experience at Memorial Christian Hospital in Bangladesh was one of the best professional experiences of my life. I was able to see an array of disease processes (e.g. tetanus, rabies) that I will probably never come across with in the states. I worked side by side with the surgeons in trauma, pediatric and obstetric/ gynecological surgeries. I was able to work in the delivery rooms in infant resuscitation and manage infants and pediatric patients on my own. Dr. Welch and I saw patients in the outpatient clinic and triage emergency cases together. I was forced to be independent of specialty laboratory and radiological studies and consultants. This in itself helped me recognize areas that I was strong in and areas where I needed to improve in my skills and knowledge. Thus, it gave me direction on how to approach my remaining years of training in the states.
My favorite part of the experience was that I felt like I was part of a team. Since the hospital is small in comparison to pediatric facilities in the states, I was able to develop a bond with the other physicians and staff members. Developing relationships with colleagues made my experience fulfilling because it gave purpose to my work. We ate meals and took breaks together. Indeed, the healthy atmosphere made work refreshing and enjoyable, freeing me to focus on the needs of my patients. This is often times difficult to have in the states.
I would encourage all residents to have an international health experience in their residency training because I believe it brings perspective to the work we do here. It allows you to be grateful for the opportunity to learn and practice medicine because it such a ministry. The ability to bring health care to the very poor of the world, especially children, is an honor and privilege. I am so grateful that my program granted me the chance to have this experience.”
This past August I had an exciting experience as I traveled for the second time to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala with a team of medical professionals led by my medical school mentor. Working with the local clinic and local health promoters our team was able to see and treat several hundred patients over the course of one week. Of the several medical missions that I have been fortunate to complete, those to San Lucas Toliman are the most meaningful because of the network of local health promoters. These men and women act as extensions of the main clinic to facilitate follow-up and specialist care that may be needed. Because of the work that they do I feel that I am able to contribute to a health care system that truly benefits those in need.
"Having the opportunity to do an international elective at the BDK Hospital in Rajasthan, India was a tremendous learning experience. We saw about a 150 children per day in the clinic, with a wide variety of illnesses. The more severe cases were admitted to the main hospital pediatric ward, adjacent to the clinic. This is the main pediatric ward at BDK Hospital. During busy times there can be up to two patients per bed in the main pediatric ward at BDK Hospital. Even with limited resources, patients receive very appropriate and adequate care. Working here, forced me to rely more on my basic history and physical exam skills. Seeing many children recover and go home was a great feeling."
"I spent a month at Haydom Lutheran Hospital in rural Tanzania (Eastern Tanzania). It is a 50 year old facility, originally built by Norwegian Lutheran missionaries. I set up the rotation with the help of my sister, who was serving in the area through the Peace Corps. The hospital had a bed capacity of approximately 300, but the average daily census was closer to 400. (Children were doubled up in the same bed, and some adults were placed on the floor). The hospital is staffed full time by the medical director who is a Norwegian general surgeon, a Tanzanian physician who completed medical school last year, and rotating European doctors. At the time I arrived, there were only 4 physicians- for all 400 patients!As a 3rd year Med-Peds resident, and the only person with training specially in internal medicine and pediatrics, I was put to use as a consultant, seeing all new admissions and seeing complicated patients already admitted or in the clinics. I was involved with treating a wide spectrum of diseases- including malaria, TB, parasitic infections, AIDS, various malignancies, and much more. I was truly amazed by the pathology seen just by walking through the wards. I learned a great deal about 3rd world medicine, but more importantly got to experience life in Tanzania. The people there were so poor materialistically, but were on the whole more happy with life than we are. It was an experience I will never forget. I hope to return someday in the future."