Botswana Application Information and Rotation FAQs
I came away from my experience in Botswana with an even stronger conviction that this is what I want to do with my life, that I had truly found my calling."- Internal Medicine Resident
To apply for a rotation in Botswana, please provide the following application materials for consideration:
- Cover letter: short description of your experience, interests, goals and reasons for applying to this rotation
- Current CV
- Statement of support from residency/fellowship program director
- Dates of interest
- Malpractice coverage during your work at SLH: This is not provided by the BIDMC Global Health program. If your current institutional policy does not provide coverage for rotations outside of your home institution, you will need additional coverage. Previous residents were able to obtain this coverage at low cost from several providers listed here:
Dr. Jonathan Crocker
Dr. Tomer Barak
Dr. Rebecca Luckett
Dr. Edward Clune
Botswana’s public healthcare system is relatively well-resourced compared to those of other sub-Saharan countries, but in a setting burdened by a high prevalence of HIV, TB and non-communicable diseases, some critical gaps remain. Based at SLH we support initiatives to improve medical training; systems efficiency; quality and safety; and resource utilization. The program is supported and run by three full-time onsite Harvard Faculty from the BIDMC Departments of Internal Medicine; Obstetrics & Gynecology; and Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.
In collaboration with local partners from the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP), the University of Botswana Faculty of Medicine (UBFOM) and the Kweneng East District Health Management Team (DHMT), the program provides clinical stewardship and medical training for medical students, interns and residents from the University of Botswana, as well as district medical officers, nurses and other healthcare staff. The program also helps lead systems improvement and research initiatives with the goal of improving healthcare quality and safety at SLH and other district healthcare facilities.
- to learn how to deliver quality care in a resource-limited setting
- to enrich the medical training and experience of participating residents, district healthcare staff and local medical trainees
- to fortify the clinician-educator role of participating residents
- to contribute to ongoing medical education, quality improvement and research projects
- to contribute to the clinical care of an underserved patient population.
- to promote the causes of social justice and health equity and inspire career paths in global health and care of the underserved.
Dr. Tomer Barak is the Botswana Global Health Program Country Director and the on-site Internal Medicine Program Director supervising internal medicine resident electives and global health fellowship rotations. Global Health Fellows from the BIDMC Department of Medicine’s Global Health Fellowship Program provide additional attending-level clinical oversight.
Dr. Rebecca Luckett is the on-site Obstetrics and Gynecology Program Director supervising OBGYN resident rotations.
Dr. Ed Clune is the on-site Anesthesia and Critical Care Program Director and provides supervision for anesthesia resident and critical care fellow electives.
Dr. Jonathan Crocker directs the Boston-based BIDMC Department of Medicine’s Global Health Program and Global Health Fellowship .
Dr. Rebecca Zash is Assistant Director for the BIDMC Department of Medicine’s Global Health Program. She is also a BHP affiliated researcher and oversees resident and fellow quality improvement and research projects.
Drs. Roger Shapiro and Shahin Lockman are Boston-based BHP affiliated researches who help oversee program research and quality improvement projects.
The entire Botswana Global Health Program team works closely with the SLH superintendent, district health management team and BHP leadership on all programmatic training, clinical care and safety & quality initiatives.
Prior to arriving in Botswana, participants are provided with detailed orientation materials and expectations for elective. Trainees work closely with BIDMC faculty at SLH, and are integrated into the daily routine of the hospital depending on their specialty, serving as clinician-educators in the operating room or on the adult inpatient, critical care and obstetrics wards. Participants will work alongside hospital medical officers, nurses, and medical residents, interns and students from the University of Botswana Faculty of Medicine.
Elective participants may also pursue ambulatory activities in the post-discharge and specialist consultation clinics as well as in outreach activities at other district healthcare facilities. Commonly encountered conditions include chronic medical diseases such as heart failure, hypertension, renal failure, infectious diseases (including TB, complications of HIV infection) and a broad range of obstetric, gynecologic and critical care conditions. The onsite BIDMC-affiliated attending physicians (in Medicine, OB and Anesthesia) and/or the attending-level global health clinical fellows supervise all clinical activities during the rotations.
Opportunities to develop teaching skills and gain clinician-educator experience are ample. Participants lead formal didactic sessions and teach on complex clinical cases, providing close clinical mentorship to local medical officers, medical students, interns and residents. In addition, participants may be asked to assist in developing educational materials, including talks and case-reports, and to contribute to ongoing longitudinal quality improvement and research projects at the hospital and across the district.