Division of Global Health
The Division of Global Health, part of NYU Langone Health’s Department of Neurology, develops and supports training and education for neurology practices in resource-limited settings. We work to improve awareness of global health issues in neurology.
Under the direction of Jaydeep M. Bhatt, MD, residents gain rich experience delivering healthcare in settings with reduced means. The division collaborates with Jerome H. Chin, MD, MPH, PhD, adjunct professor; the Department of Population Health; and NYU College of Global Public Health.
Our work complements a larger academic network of domestic and international neurology faculty who are members of the Global Health Section of the American Academy of Neurology. Each year, two neurology residents accompany Dr. Bhatt and Dr. Chin to Kampala, Uganda, to participate in a clinical global neurology elective. There, they learn about the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders in a resource-constrained setting. Residents get significant experience treating inpatients on the neurology ward and consult services at the national hospital of Uganda. Clinically, there are a wide spectrum of central and peripheral nervous system disorders encountered, with disease mechanisms and presentations that are different from resource-rich healthcare systems.
Perspectives from NYU Langone Neurology Residents
Some of our past neurology residents share their training experiences in the Division of Global Health.
Bonnie Wong, MD
In order to modernize the central national hospital facilities in Uganda, hospital services were divided and relocated among four smaller community hospitals with surgical services and radiology remaining on the main campus. Patients were transported from the emergency department in Mulago Hospital to the neurology wards 40 minutes away in Kiruddu. Hospital CT scans were also a 40-minute ambulance ride away. The transition meant that we were actually practicing neurology as if there were only one CT scanner. In Kiruddu, I saw neuropathology of every kind, in all stages of development, such as neurotuberculosis, neurocysticercosis, PML, myasthenia gravis, a multitude of large hemorrhagic strokes from uncontrolled hypertension, and epilepsy.
The experience offered a multitude of lessons in neurology, but also in improvisation, in making do with less rather than more. It has profoundly influenced my perspective on neurology, global health, health systems, and on my present and future role as a physician within these systems. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity.
Alexandra Lloyd-Smith, MD, MSc
The opportunity to practice neurology at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, was life changing and will have an everlasting positive effect on my career as a neurologist. Mulago is Uganda’s national referral hospital. Patients from every corner of the country travel by various means of transportation for neurological evaluation. Together with their families and friends, they carry basic personal belongings, including bed sheets and utensils, in preparation for their admission.
The spectrum of disease and pathology was vast. Preventable conditions, such as hypertensive intracranial hemorrhages, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS with fatal opportunistic infections, served as a reminder of significant medical advancements within primary care in developed countries. The limited healthcare resources emphasized the need for cost-conscious care, an important component of medicine in today’s world. Constant reminders of the patients’ need to pay out of pocket for the most basic medications and diagnostic investigations made us careful about balancing essential clinical care with being mindful of how results would change management.
My experience treating patients on the wards gave me time for reflection about how we can improve our own healthcare system. One of the beauties of medicine is that it transcends all geographical barriers.
For more information about the Division of Global Health, please contact Dr. Bhatt, division director, at 212-263-7744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.