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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 8, 2005

UI Hospitals And Clinics Physician Receives International Training

A resident physician at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recently returned from a two-month international health experience in Africa.

As part of her third year of residency training in the Department of Internal Medicine at UI Hospitals and Clinics, Britta Denman, M.D., traveled to Nkhoma, Malawi, where she served in both hospital and clinic settings. Malawi, a small country in southern Africa, is blessed with beautiful scenery, friendly people and fascinating culture. Unfortunately, poverty and a dismal harvest have combined to create a famine of striking proportions.

Denman helped patients with diseases not often seen in U.S. teaching hospitals. People in Malawi suffer with malaria, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis (a parasitic infection) and unusual complications of HIV infection.

"The lack of diagnostic tools was frustrating at times. I learned to rely on my personal medical skills and knowledge," Denman said.

Health care educators say in an increasingly globally interconnected world, awareness of diseases and the status of health care in other countries is imperative for a holistic approach to the practice of medicine. As international travel becomes more commonplace, infectious diseases are not limited by geographical boundaries. In addition, social responsibility in such a global community necessitates understanding the health care needs of populations in all countries.

Denman plans to receive specialized training in infectious diseases after she completes her residency training.

The International Health Experience is a relatively new opportunity for young physicians motivated to help people in developing countries. The endeavor is partially supported by the UI, but participants still need to raise funds for travel, room and board in the host country. A fund is available to provide financial support for these health care experiences. Information about how to contribute to this fund can be obtained from Brenda Duello by e-mail at brenda-duello@uiowa.edu or by phone at 319-335-3305, extension 403 or toll-free at 800-648-6973, extension 403.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at http://www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.