Julia Schiff, MD
Julia Schiff, MD
Internal Medicine · Atlanta, GA

Emergency Med Education Initiative in Botswana

June 5th
Gaborone, Botswana

Project Description

I will be traveling to the University of Botswana Hospital in Gaborone Emergency Department as part of the first team members (and first resident) from the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Medicine Department to assist with an education initiative to build up the Emergency Medicine Residency training program. As part of the Botswana-Penn partnership, activities will include development of curriculum, lectures, and possible SIM activities for modules important to the training of an Emergency Medicine resident. During my several week rotation there, time will be spent teaching some of these modules to current residents and gathering feedback and input for the development of a long-term training program. Long-term goals include establishing a several-year residency curriculum and fostering community building between US and Botswana partners to develop and strengthen the Emergency Department. Additionally, time will be spent working side by side current Emergency physicians in the hospital to care for patients in an area that is low resourced. Through both providing medical care and developing curriculum, goals include the establishment and support for research projects and quality improvement initiatives created by residents in Botswana to better the emergency care provided to patients in the hospital and community.

Population Served

Several populations will be affected by the medical care received and the education initiative. Gaborone, Botswana is the capital to a country that has one of global highest degrees of income inequalities and inequality with access to medical care consumption (WHO). The population that will be seen at the central University Emergency Department is largely impacted by communicable (and-non-communicable) diseases like HIV and Malaria, health disparities, traumas, and maternal disease and mortality. Members of this community will be assessed and treated as part of this global health experience. The population of medical residents and Emergency Department in Botswana will be impacted by the development of an education initiative. Similarly, myself and other residents and members of the Emergency Department in Philadelphia will partake in this initiative through the development of remote materials that we will be able to carry with us to use and teach, thus allowing the development of a global exchange.

Expected Impact

There are currently very few Emergency physicians in the Country of Botswana and residents at this hospital are some of the first Emergency Medicine Residents in the country. The goal of this project is to establish a long-term connection where through an education initiative to build up an Emergency Medicine residency program, the overall health care of the community is served. By training the future leaders of Emergency Medicine, the goal is to strengthen the skills and number of capable physicians available to serve the community. The long-term success and impact of this program will be to improve health access to Emergency care and outcomes for the community of Gaborone. Additionally, the establishment and building of a partnership between two global Emergency Departments has many long-term potential impacts, including bi-directional education and health care exchange, the potential for quality improvement initiatives, bi-directional connections and support for community building. I look forward to being the first resident from the Penn team to travel to Botswana to help start this initiative and as someone planning to continue a career in global health, look forward to the potential of continuity of this project throughout my training.

Trip Photos & Recap

I had a wonderful time in Botswana learning with and from the Emergency Medicine Residents. There were some great opportunities to work on small quality improvement and education activities there with the EM Program. Additionally, having the opportunity to meet and interact with the patients in the Emergency Room and see how care was delivered in a low resource setting was very impactful.