Overview of Program
The University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency Program, has a longitudinal site in San José de San Marcos de Sierra, Intibucá, Honduras, where we go twice a year for two weeks. We are in partnership with the San José community and work on their self-identified needs (water quality and access, improved cookstoves, community health education, student education, poverty, and improved agriculture) as well as provide medical care. San José is a very rural, remote location with most of the inhabitants lacking running water and electricity. Our goal is twofold: to give our residents, medical students and faculty an outstanding experience in sustainable development in the context of a long-term relationship with a community and to improve the health of the people of San José. For more information and photographs of our work in Honduras please visit the global health section of our department website as well as the San Jose Partners website!
The Department of Family Medicine has partnered with the First Unitarian Church of Rochester for assistance with the work on selecting and supporting middle and high school students to advance their education. Additionally, at the request of the local elementary school teachers, this partnership has added delivery of academic curriculum and English skills to the community schools.
Location of Program
San José de San Marcos de Sierra, Intibucá, Honduras. This is in southwestern Honduras, 20 miles north of the Honduran/El Salvadorean border.
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Description of Field Experience
Honduran family from San Jose
de San Marcos de Sierra
The group (10 to 15 people per trip) consists of medical students, family medicine residents and faculty, nursing students, dental faculty and residents, and Rochester community members. We split the group between clinical care and community health projects, and everyone gets a chance to participate in both types of activity. Current community health projects include fluoride rinse programs at local schools, lay midwife teaching, improved cookstove installations, water filtration and storage projects, student and teacher training, microfinance program, scholarship program, and health surveys of local villages. We stay in a simple house we built and have an excellent Honduran cook. We see patients in a government clinic building that is not staffed; no labs or X-rays are available. The terrain is mountainous, so we do lots of hiking when going out to neighboring villages! Click here to read our most recent Trip Report.
Description of Didactics
Women health volunteers display certificates
after completion of domestic violence training.
Two half-days of global health teaching per year; Global Health Book Club, which meets 4-6 times per year ( listing of books read); in San José, lectures every night, with all participants expected to give a talk on a global health subject. More information on didactics.
Description of Faculty Involvement
Each trip has a minimum of two faculty members. Dr. Doug Stockman, Director of Global Health, goes on every trip. Doug is author of Community Assessment: Guidelines for Developing Countries, and has three years' experience in West Africa. Dr. Barbara Gawinski, Associate Global Health Director, coordinates book club and meetings in Rochester. A total of seven faculty members have gone to Honduras since the program started in 2003. Many of our faculty share a passion for global health.
Approximate Time of Year/Duration of Trips
October/November and May of each year; two weeks per trip.
Additional Global Health Resources
American Academy of Family Physicians:
International Family Medicine Homepage
Family Medicine Residencies with Global Health
Society for Teachers of Family Medicine:
Group on Global Health
Global Health Education Consortium
Shoulder to Shoulder