This post originally appeared in Alaska Native News.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) partners with a variety of educational programs to bring the best professionals into the Tribal health system. In 2016, ANTHC and their Tribal health partners welcomed two physicians from the University of Washington Global and Rural Health Fellowship, a new program designed to provide clinical training and education in traditionally under-served health care systems.
ANTHC’s partnership for this new program with UW began in 2015. Recognizing that physicians in internal medicine or emergency medicine rarely have experience with rural or smaller hospital locations, and the health care inequalities of the people these health systems typically serve, the UW Global and Rural Health Fellowship partnered with Tribal health systems in Alaska and South Dakota for one year of the two-year program to provide direct clinical care in internal medicine and emergency medicine. Fellows are part of the UW practice, and continue their program in an international location for the second year of the fellowship.
Partnering with ANTHC provides a unique educational opportunity for fellows to develop cultural competency by living among Alaska Native people for whom they provide clinical care. We hope our fellows will be inspired to live and work in Alaska and pursue global health careers long term. -Sachita Shah, Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health
Future plans for the fellowship program include increasing the number of participating physicians in Alaska; in July, the program will expand to two Internal Medicine fellows and one Emergency Department fellow with the possibility of expanding into other medical specialties and advanced nurse practitioners.