Global Health and Neurology
The Department of Neurology has a Division of Global Health that is led by Jaydeep Bhatt, MD. The division aims to develop and support training and education for neurology practice in low and middle income countries and to improve awareness of global health issues in neurology. In this emerging discipline of Neurology, Dr. Bhatt has significant experience with healthcare delivery in resource limited settings. We are pleased that this program has strong collaborations with NYU’s College of Global Public Health and the NYU School of Medicine Department of Population Health. Dr. Bhatt’s endeavors complement a larger academic network of domestic and international neurology faculty who are members of the Global Health Section of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Bhatt and an NYU Neurology Resident, Dr. Alexandra Lloyd-Smith, traveled to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda in August 2015 to examine the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic disorders in a resource limited setting collaborating with Dr. Jerome Chin, Adjunct Professor in NYU Department of Neurology
The next resident elective in Uganda will occur in October 2016, attended by Dr. Bonnie Wong.
Perspectives of an NYU Neurology Resident
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 each 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. Everyone was unique and had beautiful life stories to share.
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 health care resources available emphasized the need for cost conscious care, an important component of medicine in today’s world. Constant reminders of patient’s need to pay out of pocket for the most basic medications and diagnostic investigations made it so we were careful in balancing essential clinical care while 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 health care system. One of the beauties of medicine is that it transcends all geographical barriers – I am forever grateful to NYU Neurology department for supporting my first global neurology experience.
Alexandra Lloyd-Smith, MD, MSc - Neurology Resident PGY-3