The Stony Brook Pediatric Residency Program supports residents in expanding their interests in the study of global health as well as service in international health care in developing countries. Our residents are provided opportunities to travel, learn, and provide health care in geographically diverse cultures through our international elective rotations. We have developed an ongoing relationship with Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where we send a resident annually for a 4-week block rotation. Angkor Hospital for Children, built in 1999, is the hospital for children living in and around the province of Siem Reap, with 50 inpatient beds and approximately 300 to 400 outpatient visits annually.
The resident participates in all outpatient and inpatient rotations at the hospital, and attends conferences and lectures. In addition, the resident has the opportunity to accompany the hospital’s Home Care team on visitations to villages in the surrounding area to care for children with chronic diseases (the most common being HIV, malnutrition, and neurologic disability) as well as observe preventative medicine and health education activities at local health centers. It is an overwhelmingly positive and enriching experience for both the resident and the staff at Angkor Hospital for Children. Stony Brook residents return from the international rotation with a new understanding of international medical challenges, cultural differences, and cultural sensitivity.
In addition to the Cambodia experience, several of our residents recently traveled to Africa on a medical mission with a team of physicians. In Kitwe, Zambia the residents provided care to over 800 children, many of whom had never before seen a doctor. The residents had the opportunity to treat a wide variety of diseases, including malaria, Pott’s disease, goiters, worm infestation, malnutrition, cutaneous larva migrans, impetigo, tinea, scabies, and schistosomiasis.
We are actively exploring other such opportunities for our trainees to support their interest in international medicine.