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Global Health

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

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: 

  • Improved cookstove installations
  • Water filtration and storage projects
  • Pila construction
  • Latrine construction
  • Various agricultural projects
  • Preventative dentristry
  • Grade school outreach projects
  • Student and teacher training
  • Scholarship programs
  • 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.

Women health volunteers display certificates
after completion of domestic violence training.

One half-day 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. Many of our graduates from the Global Health Track continue to participate in the program and now are attending physician leaders.

Approximate Time of Year/Duration of Trips

October/November and May of each year; two weeks per trip.

Additional Global Health Resources

Global Health - AAFP logoAmerican Academy of Family Physicians:
International Family Medicine Homepage
Family Medicine Residencies with Global Health

STFM logoSociety for Teachers of Family Medicine:
Group on Global Health

GHEC logoGlobal Health Education Consortium

Shoulder to Shoulder LogoShoulder to Shoulder

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