Parent Page: Academic Departments id: 23512 Active Page: Global Health and Social Justice Program id:24313

Global Health and Social Justice Program


The University of Oklahoma Internal Medicine Global Health and Social Justice Program aims to educate internal medicine residents on major global health issues, social justice, and healthcare inequities while providing them with the tools to work in collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships both locally and abroad to ultimately help improve health outcomes. The program encompasses multiple educational initiatives and rotations to provide a holistic view of global health that is not defined by borders or international boundaries. This multi-faceted approach consists of a longitudinal lecture series and three complimentary rotations as detailed below. Residents who successfully complete this program will be awarded a Global Health and Social Justice certificate at the end of their residency training. 

Global Health Coalition Lecture Series

A collaborative longitudinal monthly education meeting that teaches the core principles of global health and social justice to residents and faculty from the Department of Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Family Medicine.

Global Health Rotation

A 1-month rotation in a low-middle income country (LMIC) where residents participate in direct patient care, medical education, and research. Since 2013, we have partnered with Gulu University in Uganda in a mutually beneficial relationship that fosters bidirectional learning and clinical teaching. We are also actively engaging with future potential partners in Central America for those who are interested. 

Global Health at Home Rotation

A 1-month rotation in rural Oklahoma that provides resident physicians an opportunity to learn and assist in the care of populations that are less commonly encountered in the urban environment of Oklahoma City. Such a partnership aims to be mutually beneficial to both the host institution as well to the visiting learner by fostering collaboration in direct patient care, education, and research to ultimately improve health outcomes for underserved Oklahomans.

Community Health and Advocacy Rotation

A 1-month rotation within Oklahoma City where residents work in a variety of community clinics for uninsured/underinsured patients in addition to visiting outreach advocacy programs taht provide resources for disadvantaged members of the community. Such advocacy partners include the Homeless Alliance, City Rescue Mission, Northcare, and the Regional Food Bank. 

Recent Program Graduates


"I had the opportunity of rotating through the Advocacy month as well as spending time in Uganda twice in my residency. Both experiences taught me a great deal and left an indelible mark on me as I begin my career as a physician. During my advocacy rotation, I worked in various charity clinics in the city and saw what resources were available to vulnerable populations. I also learned more about food deserts and the disparities that exist due to socioeconomic determinants of health. Exposure to this rotation readied me for my travel to Uganda. Referral to a tertiary care center from the clinic where we practiced required an 8-hour ride on a two-wheeler through rocky mountain terrain, hence it was imperative for us to think innovatively and use our resources wisely. We were saddened when we came face to face with the untimely death of children due to preventable diseases but were also inspired by the local practitioners whose enthusiasm to serve their community and desire to learn challenged us to do the same." 

- Jesintha Stephenson, MD


"Having the opportunity to participate in the Global Health Alliance at OUHSC was one of my favorite experiences of training. We got to spend time in many of the clinics around the OKC community focused on delivering care to the underserved populations, which was a very fulfilling experience. Our trip to Uganda was something I will remember for the rest of my life, and something I highly recommend to any trainee. I got to learn from extraordinary physicians and see how medicine works in a completely new environment with limited resources. I was able to see and treat tropical diseases I’ve only read about before, and experience a culture wholly different from my own. Not only did I take away lessons that I will use for the rest of my career, but I made wonderful memories with colleagues and the great people I met there."

- Kathy Hoang, MD 


"The global health lecture series and elective abroad deepened my understanding of the issues facing resource limited populations and provided a hands on experience treating tropical diseases.  It also motivated me to think about effective and judicious allocation of resources at home, and increased my desire to advocate for patients with limited access to health care."
-Teresa Yanchak, MD

"The best part about my experience in Uganda was how it broadened my perception of health care in general. In Oklahoma City I get to practice medicine with the maximum amount of resources available to me. In Uganda, care was provided with hardly any resources at all. This was very eye-opening to me and gave me a new appreciation for how to best use our resources in the States effectively."
- Taha Khan, MD