A common question among applicants is “what are your graduates doing now?” Since graduation, Global Health residents have pursued a wide variety of fields of work and study – from fellowships to research to clinical jobs – in a wide variety of locations, from cities around the US to countries around the world. The majority have chosen a career with continued involvement in global or community health. Here, a few of our graduates speak about their experiences in the Global Health Track and what they have done after.
Jason Vassy, MD MPH SM
Instructor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
As a Global Health Track resident, I had the opportunity to serve the global community both in Philadelphia (at the Puentes de Salud clinic for Latino immigrants) and in urban and rural Guatemala. The experience strengthened my commitment to primary care and, at the same time, inspired me to seek ways to improve health at a societal level. After residency, I undertook a general medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. During this time I practiced primary care in an urban setting with high rates of substance abuse and mental health disorders. I also began a research agenda that included the examination of whether genetic discoveries made in populations of European ancestry are applicable to more racially diverse populations. Now that fellowship is coming to a close, I've taken a position at the Boston VA, where I hope to continue my research and improve primary care at both the patient and health system levels.
Serena Roth, MD
Clinical Instructor, Montifiore Medical Center
New York City, New York, USA
I went to medical school at New York University, where I participated in and later ran The Hepatitis Project, a medical student-run clinic offering hepatitis testing and counseling to injection drug users at a syringe exchange in lower Manhattan. I did my residency training in primary care internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. At Penn, I was able to continue my work with injection drug users by starting a medical clinic with Prevention Point, Philadelphia's major syringe exchange program. We offered drop-in medical services for syringe exchange clients on a mobile van; the program has continued since my graduation. During residency, I also had the opportunity to work at the Jonathan Lax HIV Treatment Center, providing HIV primary care. I was honored to be selected as a member of the founding class of Penn's Global Health Track in 2008. The GHT provided me with excellent opportunities and mentoring to expand my interests in global and community health, allowing me to have multiple outside continuity clinics and work directly with faculty involved with international health projects. Having a group of dedicated, supportive, and enthusiastic residents and faculty helped me work towards my clinical and research goals despite residency's otherwise busy schedule. In the international travel time afforded by the GHT, I traveled to Bangkok for the International Harm Reduction Association conference in 2009 and to Botswana for a clinical elective in 2010.
After residency, I moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where I worked as a research fellow in the Tuberculosis Division at the Centers for Disease Control. At the CDC, I assisted with protocol development, data collection, and analysis on projects related to national and regional TB surveillance, and health-seeking behaviors among people with TB in rural Thailand. Since August 2011, I have been a clinical instructor at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY. At Montefiore, I work as a primary care physician with an underserved and fantastically diverse patient population, and precept residents in their busy clinic. I have also become involved in medical student and resident teaching opportunities outside of clinic, including the home visits program and OSCEs. In my future career, I plan to expand my work in community health, focusing on the primary medical care of the underserved, and help provide opportunities for medicine residents to become more involved in their surrounding communities. I believe the connections and training that I gained through membership in the Global Health Track will help me achieve my goals.
Gayani Tillekeratne, MD
Global Health Fellow, Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, North Carolina, USA
I finished my infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2012. During my residency (as part of the GHT) and my fellowship, I have visited Penn’s site in Nairobi, Kenya several times. During my initial visit, I participated in health screenings to patients in the Kibera slum and in rural Kakamega, where basic preventative care is rare, and offered educational workshops to community health workers caring for these patients. Much of the second visit involved helping set up a cervical cancer screening program for patients visiting the HIV clinic at Mbagathi District Hospital, a public hospital in Nairobi. The clinic now has a functional cervical cancer screening program, offering visual inspection with acetic acid/ lugol’s iodine (VIA/VILI) to patients. My third visit occurred as a second-year ID fellow, and involved organizing a study to explore rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) on the medical wards at Mbagathi District Hospital. A component of this project involved quality improvement activities directed at clinical officers and nurses, to help reduce CAUTIs. The latter stages of this study are being carried out by three wonderful medical students from Nairobi University.
Following my infectious diseases fellowship, I am excited to be starting a fellowship in Global Health at Duke University. This 2-year program includes a Masters of Science in Global Health, ID clinical work at the Durham VA, and one year overseas in Sri Lanka. During my overseas time, I will help conduct research studies exploring the etiologies of febrile and acute respiratory illness in southern Sri Lanka. In addition to continuing my interests in global health & ID, this fellowship will allow me to work and collaborate in two areas of the world to which I have close ties.
Kimberly Ganster, MD
Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana
I grew up in Chicago until I was fourteen, when I moved to Singapore with my family. I then attended college at Washington University in St. Louis and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. I remained at Penn for an Internal Medicine residency where in addition to the Global Health Equities Track, I was part of the Primary Care Track. During residency I focused my clinical time at the Lax Center, one of the city’s HIV clinics; Prevention Point, a syringe exchange program; and at the refugee clinic at Penn Center for Primary Care. My international work with the Global Health Track was at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, where I helped to develop a teaching curriculum for clinical officer interns during their medicine rotation. My international research interests focused on work with intravenous drug users; I held focus groups in Nairobi and the coast, helping to inform a collaborative project to develop and evaluate harm reduction services in Kenya.
After completing residency in 2012, I took a position with the Botswana UPenn Partnership as a Teaching Specialist at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone. There, I spend my clinical time attending on the inpatient wards, and working at the outpatient general medicine clinic precepting University of Botswana (UB) residents. I serve as a teaching and research mentor for the UB residents and am working to develop their outpatient curriculum. I also work closely with Penn residents and medical students during their Botswana rotation to expand their global health education.
Mosepele Mosepele, MD
Infectious Disease Fellow
Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Massachusetts
My interests in global health have been primarily on HIV clinical care, treatment and longterm outcomes plus healthcare for new immigrants to the USA. During residency, I worked locally at Philadelphia Prison Health System providing HIV care for inmates and at the Penn Center for Primary Care Refugee clinic. My international site was Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana, where I also provided in-patient care in the medical wards and worked on a cross-sectional study evaluating the risk for cardiovascular disease among adult HIV patients on Protease Inhibitor (PI) containing Antiretroviral Regimen (ARV) in Gaborone, Botswana.
Following residency, I will start fellowship in Infectious Disease at the combined Massachusetts General Hospital(MGH) / Brigham & Womens Hospital (BWH) where I will continue to do research in HIV associated cardiometabolic disease, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. My medium term plan is to establish a career as a clinician, clinical epidemiology researcher and educator at a medical school in sub-Saharan Africa and continue collaborative work with academic centers around the world.