Comprehensive Training for International Medical Relief Services

A message from Justin Yax, DO, DTMH, Director, Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship

We are all drawn to international work for many reasons, many of them are personal, some are professional. However, international medical relief work is a complex interaction of medicine, logistics, security, sanitation, nutrition, politics, policy and cultural awareness. Our actions on the ground have significant effects on the lives of many people, and as responsible physicians, we have the responsibility to understand these complex interactions and their effects.

My first experience in international work involved working on an endemic parasite study in the Ecuadorian amazon when I was 24 years old. I realized quickly the incredible impact that infectious and tropical disease had on the world's population and this drove me to become board-certified in internal medicine, then infectious disease. My research in malaria resistance in Ecuador during my Infectious Disease Fellowship encouraged me to pursue a Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

It was, in the middle of all this training, while working in Sri Lanka working on mobile clinics in partnership with International Medical Corps, that I had a realization. There, some amazing emergency medicine physicians became my friends and mentors. I saw, firsthand, how Emergency Medicine offered the best complementary skill set to operate in an international relief setting.

This fellowship was created so our fellow could avoid the circuitous career path that I had taken, and get in the field earlier in their career, hit the ground running with an excellent skill-set, and be competitive to work or volunteer for any international medical relief agency they choose, such as the International Medical Corps.

This fellowship was specifically designed through a close collaborative effort between the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine and International Medical Corps to train emergency medicine physicians in the practical and theoretical skills necessary to become leaders and researchers in the field. A one- or two-year customized track is offered, depending on if the fellow holds, or does not hold, an MPH degree at the time of acceptance into the fellowship.

During the fellowship, fellows will act as junior teaching faculty within the UH Cleveland Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Two-year fellows will hold this same title while working toward their Masters of Public Health Degree in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University.

Whether you plan to do international medical relief work as a career or part-time, please look over our website to see what is unique about our fellowship and if it aligns with your personal and professional goals. And please do not hesitate to contact me personally with any questions you may have.

Justin Yax, DO, DTMH

Director, Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Life in Cleveland Has So Much to Offer

Whether you are interested in exploring the rich cultural history of its neighborhoods or eating at one of its many award-winning eateries, Cleveland has something for everyone.