Global Health Opportunities


Universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed saves lives, prevents disability, and promotes economic growth. 

— The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery



Our Department is extremely fortunate that we have a very knowledgeable and internationally involved group of faculty leading our Global Health efforts.  We have various opportunities for faculty and residents to be involved across the globe.  Currently, Dr. GeorgeD. Politis, MD, MPH is the Director of the UVa Anesthesiology Global Health Program.

Many of our residents have an interest in global health, but not all are willing and able to devote a large amount of time to it. To accommodate the various levels of interest, we offer several graded opportunities for participation in global health activities. Listed below from less to most time consuming:

Photo of UVA School of Medicine students working with Kilgali staff

Dr. Kamilla Esfahani teaching residents in Kilgali

Case teleconferences with Rwanda and Ethiopia. Once a month we hold a teleconference with the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rwanda and University of Jimma; each department alternates in presenting and discussing a complex case. Residents and rotating medical students participate, and faculty from both sides moderate. Our residents can participate in the conference and, if desired, present a case themselves.

Short-term service. Departmental faculty participate in several short (7-10 days) service missions per year, providing anesthesia care to underserved populations. These trips take place in a variety of locations (India, Eastern Europe, Ethiopia) and typically involve pediatric anesthesia. At the Ethiopia site an education component is developing.

Longer-term teaching. We are part of a long-term teaching program in anesthesiology in Rwanda, supported by the Canadian and US societies of anesthesiologists. Interested residents will spend a month with a University of Virginia faculty member in Rwanda, teaching clinically in the OR and ICU as well as didactically through lectures, case discussions, and simulation. There is a substantial pre-departure time commitment for putting together teaching materials and for preparing to live and work in the country for a month.

Global Health Leadership Track (GHLT). For residents with a strong desire to make global health part of their future life, we offer positions in the institutional Global Health Leadership Track. This multidisciplinary certificate program includes monthly journal clubs, quarterly outside speakers, two required 2-week courses (Global Health Policy and Tropical Medicine) and either a short- or long-term trip, as described above. Since we can only let a few people each year participate, there is a competitive application process.  Residents apply in their CA0 and/or CA1 year in order to fulfill the requirements to graduate from residency with a certificate in Global Health.  Read more about the UVA SOM GHLT.

If you are interested in participating in our global health efforts as a resident or student, contact Dr. George Politis, Professor of Anesthesiology.