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Global Primary Care Program

The Global Primary Care (GPC) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is an initiative of the Department of Medicine and Center for Global Health that integrates the principles and practice of global health and primary care in order to develop future leaders to advance health equity and strengthen health systems in the U.S. and around the world. GPC invests in innovative curricula and mutually rewarding partnerships in urban Boston and rural Uganda to create a continuum of service, teaching, and research opportunities with a specific focus on vulnerable populations.

The GPC program has three strategic objectives:

  1. Develop future leaders to advance health equity and strengthen health systems in the U.S. and around the world;
  2. Pioneer new models of primary care for vulnerable populations through mutually rewarding, long-term partnerships; and
  3. Foster a global learning community to accelerate primary care innovation and knowledge transfer across settings.

GPC Residency Program Details

The Global Primary Care program is a 3 year multi-disciplinary residency in internal medicine, followed by a 1 year clinical fellowship*. This 4 year program merges global health and primary care, focusing on comparative lessons in primary care innovation, evaluation, policy, and delivery across diverse contexts and resource settings while fulfilling the requirements for RRC-internal medicine accreditation. The combined ACGME-approved three-year residency track and 1 year clinical fellowship* in Global Primary Care (GPC) features:

  • Clinical training in internal medicine and primary care, equivalent to MGH Primary Care residents;
  • Outpatient clinic experiences focused on care for vulnerable populations in the Boston area including post-incarceration and homeless patients at the MGH Chelsea Health Center and with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program;
  • Optional participation in the Harvard Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE) course and protected academic time for coursework or equivalent academic activities;
  • Over eight months of US-based ambulatory training focused on primary care delivery, policy, implementation, and evaluation including the Global Primary Care Curriculum;
  • A 1-year clinical fellowship* including mentored clinical training as an attending clinician and educational experience as a global health leader;
  • Ten months of fieldwork, including at least four months in Uganda as part of the program’s longitudinal partnership; and
  • Mentored scholarly thesis work in global primary care, expected to result in a first-author publication or academic equivalent.

*Clinical Fellowship currently in development and under evaluation

Academic Activities and Longitudinal Thesis Work

Global Primary Care residents may utilize academic blocks for pursuits including coursework, conferences, and research based on their individual career path and interests. All residents will conduct longitudinal thesis research in collaboration with global health and general medicine faculty at MGH, other Harvard-affiliated institutions, and other domestic or international partner institutions. This research is anticipated to:

  • Serve as the basis for scholarly activities including the junior and senior resident talks and a senior poster presentation; and
  • Culminate in a first-author publication (or academic equivalent).

Global Primary Care Curriculum

The Global Primary Care Curriculum explores how “health for all” may be achieved for communities around the world. It highlights comparative lessons across a diversity of country and resource settings, considers the broader socioeconomic and political context of health, and examines the full arc of care delivery – from governmental policy and planning to local communities where “the rubber meets the road.” The Curriculum is an immersive four-week experience offered to all GPC, primary care and selected categorical interns. Teaching methods include case studies, lectures, critical reading of literature, faculty Q&A panels, interactive team-based problem-solving, and integrated community-based experiences.


MGH Chelsea Health Center

MGH Chelsea Health Center, in operation for almost 40 years, serves vulnerable and disadvantaged populations from all over the world with a range of multilingual clinical and community outreach services. The Chelsea Partnership is an innovative primary care initiative that seeks to create exciting training opportunities in primary care while improving the health of Chelsea’s most vulnerable populations.The first two activities started by the Chelsea Partnership are the Crimson Care Collaborative Evening Clinic and the Chelsea Elective for MGH Residents.

  • Guided by community stakeholders, the Crimson Care Collaborative Evening Clinic was launched in October 2011 by faculty from the health center, the GPC Program, the Stoeckle Center, MGH internal medicine residents, and Harvard medical students participating in the Crimson Care Collaborative. The aim of the combined-staff clinic is to serve the unmet primary care needs of the local community with a special focus on immigrant and post-incarceration populations.
  • The Chelsea Elective for MGH Residentsincludes rotations in the Chelsea Partnership clinic as an ambulatory subspecialty rotation (ASR) elective during outpatient ambulatory blocks. Residents will learn about immigrant and post-incarceration populations, participate in curricular development, mentor and teach Harvard medical students, and discover opportunities for research in primary care innovation. This opportunity is available to all Department of Medicine residents.

MGH Center for Global Health

The Mass General Center for Global Health (CGH) provides leadership and support at MGH to reduce health disparities for the world's most vulnerable and crisis-affected populations through education, research and service.CGH is committed to training future leaders in global health as well as in primary care.

Global Primary Care, as an innovative four-year program, is a core programmatic area for the Center. CGH and GPC faculty will work closely to nurture partnerships such as with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology, as well as to develop opportunities for research and professional development for MGH and in-country faculty and students. CGH has a number of programs focused on capacity building, teaching, and training from which GPC will be able to draw.

Mbarara University of Science and Technology | Bugoye Health Center (Uganda)

The Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) was founded in 1989 with a vision of training and retaining health professionals to serve Uganda’s rural communities. Bugoye Health Center, situated three hours west of Mbarara, serves a picturesque but deeply underserved community characterized by severe resource constraints and a high prevalence of malaria and water-borne diseases.

Building on a strong existing HIV/AIDS partnership led by Dr. David Bangsberg, the Global Primary Care Program has partnered with MUST, Bugoye Health Center, and government and community leaders to develop locally-driven, rigorously evaluated solutions to health priorities that are aligned with the national health plan.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

For 25 years, the mission of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has remained the same: to provide or assure access to the highest quality health care for all homeless men, women, and children in the greater Boston area. BHCHP currently serves more than 11,000 individuals annually in over 90,000 outpatient medical, oral health, and behavioral health encounters through an elaborate network of hospital- and shelter-based clinics, outreach services, and a 102-bed medical respite program.

The MGH Global Primary Care Program and Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program are actively developing a joint service initiative to foster the development of future leaders in primary care delivery for vulnerable populations. Opportunities emerging out of this collaboration will include clinical, educational, evaluative, and research activities, all geared toward providing residents and other learners with the chance to experience and critically examine a novel and nationally-renowned model of health care delivery.

For more information about the Center for Global Health, please see

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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

Geren Stone, MD, DTM&H
Global Primary Care Program

Jessica Kenney, MPH
Program Manager
Global Primary Care Program

Global Primary Care NRMP Number: 1261140M1