International Visitors Advance Health Worldwide
Thanks to its reputation for excellence, the UCSF department of urology receives sregular requests from international physicians and scientists who want to improve care in their home countries by learning from UCSF experts. The department does its best to accommodate those requests, either by arranging international postdoctoral scholarships of up to five years, or shorter observational visits of anywhere from one day to three months. In a typical year the department hosts up to 20 international postdoctoral scholars and 15-20 observers.
These physicians and scientists do not provide care for patients while they are at UCSF, but they are able to observe how UCSF delivers care and carry what they learn back to hospitals and clinics around the world. Postdocs also engage in research projects sponsored by the faculty member who mentors them during their stay.
“We see this as part of our broader mission to educate health providers. These programs let us reach out to a wide range of physicians and researchers who want to model some aspect of their training, research, or clinical programs on ours,” said Peter Carroll, MD, MPH, department chair. “They bring with them rich and diverse experiences. We learn from them, as well.”
Mohamed Jalloh of Dakar, Senegal is winding up a year of post-doctoral study at UCSF, which he began in January 2013. Jalloh completed his medical degree in his home country in 2002 and a surgical residency in 2006, including epidemiological and biostatistical training. He came to UCSF through a collaborative program sponsored by UCSF and the Société Internationale d'Urologie, which sends one African physician to UCSF each year to observe clinical care and participate in research. Dr. Carroll has served as his mentor as he has observed how UCSF treats prostate cancer. Like other international post-doctoral students, Jalloh has observed surgeries, clinical care, and teaching, not only in prostate cancer but throughout the department.
“It’s been a good opportunity for me to work with internationally known experts,” said Jalloh, who oversees oncology research at a large Dakar hospital. Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage in his country, which lacks the resources for screening programs and for treatments other than surgery. Jalloh plans to use what he has learned to organize a prostate cancer clinic and tumor board to better manage patients.
A current observer, Ender Ariturk, has been working with Laurence Baskin, MD, to learn all he can about caring for urological problems in children. Ariturk is from Samsun, in the northern part of Turkey, where he is a pediatric surgeon specializing in urology. He has spent six weeks observing how Dr. Baskin’s team works, focusing especially on innovations in urethral surgery. “This visit will help me to organize pediatric urology clinics in my university in Samsun,” said Ariturk..
Jennifer Sims, who coordinates international medical services for UCSF, often works with Dr. Carroll to arrange observational experiences for urologists from the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in the Philippines.
“Dr. Carroll's willingness to host visiting scholars has greatly enhanced our relationship with the Institute,” said Sims. “It's a perfect example of how a department chair's commitment to mentorship can support UCSF's broader mission of advancing health worldwide.''