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MGH Global Health, Department of Medicine

Officially launched in 2005, the MGH Internal Medicine Global Health Program is a collection of global health activities including didactics, mentorship and clinical experiences. Its cornerstone is the global health away elective that approximately 25 MGH internal medicine residents participate in every year with financial and mentorship support from the Department of Medicine. MGH’s global health curriculum complements those electives by providing mentorship and training in global health as part of the traditional residency curriculum. In 2012, given increasing interest in global health, the Internal Medicine Residency launched the Global Primary Care (GPC) residency track as a way to strengthen opportunities in global health training for all MGH residents.

Components of the MGH Internal Medicine Global Health Program

  1. Away Electives: available to PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents in the categorical and primary care programs. There are two primary sites partnered with the MGH Global Health Program: Edendale Hospital in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; andMbarara Rural Regional Referral Hospital in Mbarara, Uganda. In addition to well-reviewed elective rotations for residents, both sites are central to MGH’s core global health partnerships abroad and provide the opportunity to participate in an ACGME- approved clinical experience while assisting with capacity building and training for our international partners. Full-time MGH faculty live in Edendale and Uganda in order to provide residents withsupport and supervision, and both sites have secure accommodations and logistical support.

    • Edendale isa district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,that provides an intense inpatient, outpatient and rural experience in a largely urban, resource poor setting. The elective places residents in the center of the HIV-TB epidemic, yet with exposure to significant non-communicable disease burden as well (rheumatic heart disease, renal disease, heme/onc, etc). In the past, live resident reports have been coordinated between MGH and Edendale Hospital.
    • Mbarara Rural Regional Referral Hospitalplaces residents in inpatient clinical and teaching roles in a small regional district hospital serving Southwestern Uganda. In the nearby Rwenzori Mountains, a rural clinic offers opportunities to provide outpatient and community-based care. These sites are hotspots for HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and also see a good share of chronic disease.
    • Domestic sites can often offer as much insight into global health as those abroad, therefore away electives and other educational opportunities are also available with domestic programs. Structured rotations with the Indian Health Service have been developed and key local partnerships include Boston’s Healthcare for the Homeless Program and MGH Chelsea Community Health Center (the poorest and most immigrant-heavy city in Massachusetts).
    • To rotate at other international or domestic sites, residents submit requests that are reviewed by a structured process and must meet requirements for educational value and safety.


  2. Didactics:

    • Traditional didactic sessions include global health topics discussed at the daily resident conferences (noon conference and resident report) and case presentations from away rotations.
    • The MGH Global Health Interest Group plans journal club meetings, themed social events, and other activities. Residents recently organized the first annual global health career panel with other local global health programs.
    • The Global Primary Care Curriculum, first offered in 2011-2012, forms a central part of the overall global health program and is offered each year to a large group of interns. This four-week curriculumis built oninternational and domestic cases that teachconcepts in global health innovation and health systems strengthening. Past presenters include Julio Frenk (former Minister of Health of Mexico and Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health), Susan Karol (Chief Medical Officer of the Indian Health Service), Jim O’Connell (founder of the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program), and Rushika Fernandopulle (CEO and founder of Iora Health).


  3. Mentorship and Research: Through a number of mechanisms, including through their residency track directors, all residents with interest in global health are offered mentorship and advice throughout their years in their program. MGH is home to a wealth of international research and education activities. The global health programs and faculty help residents seek out scholarly and research opportunities that best suit them. A stunning breadth of global health faculty are available through multiple institutions, such as the MGH Center for Global Health, the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Harvard Medical School.

Global Primary Care Program

With a foundation in clinical excellence and robust, diverse mentorship, the Global Primary Care (GPC) Program provides residents with a dynamic skill set to address the challenges of primary care systems improvement domestically and abroad. The program challenges residents to work effectively across diverse cultures and through multiple stakeholders.Typical resident trajectories include research, ongoing education (through an MPH or DTM&H), activities in medical education, and international clinical work. This four-year track is based on a philosophy of flexibility for the needs of its residents, and makes real its pledge that global health includes vulnerable populations domestically and abroad. It includes:

  • Clinical training in internal medicine and primary care
  • Tuition support for an MPH degree at the Harvard School of Public Health (or equivalent academic program)
  • Dedicated, US-based ambulatory training
  • Ten months of international rotations, at least three of which are spent at the Global Primary Care Program’s partner site in Uganda.

For more information please visit:

Additional Resources

  • MGH Center for Global Health - provides additional venues for residents to explore varied career pathways in Global Health and has broadened educational activities available to all trainees across the hospital.
  • Partners Centers for Expertise in Global Health - provides funding, educational conferences, and support for all Partners affiliated residents with interest in global health.
  • Harvard Global Health Institute - this Institute provides opportunity for collaboration across all Harvard institutions.
  • Other Harvard- and MGH-affiliated hospitals and programs are available to all residents.

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Internal Medicine Residency Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
Department of Medicine
55 Fruit Street
GRB 740
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-5820
Fax: 617-724-7441
Email Us

Global Primary Care Program
Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine
Center for Global Health
100 Cambridge St., 15th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-724-1215
Fax: 617-724-1637
Email Us

Detailed Contact Information

Categorical NRMP Number: 1261140C0
Preliminary NRMP Number: 1261140P0
Primary Care NRMP Number: 1261140M0
Global Primary Care NRMP Number: 1261140M1