International Medicine:

Faculty Director: Bill Alto, M.D., M.P.H


The Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program - Cherry Hill emphasizes the importance of the connection between the health of individual patients, their families and their communities. Taking this connection one step further, we recognize that the health of people the world over is increasingly affected by global political, economic, social and environmental forces. With the growing awareness of the world’s increasing interrelatedness in terms of information, goods and services, population fluxes and emerging diseases has come increased interest in learning about healthcare in other countries. Our residency has therefore established an international medicine track to provide residents with interests in international medicine specific training in this area, with an emphasis on learning about medically underserved populations.

International Health AOC



The International Medicine Area of Concentration is designed to provide motivated residents opportunities to:

  • learn more about epidemic diseases such as TB, HIV and malaria
  • learn how social, economic, political forces at the local, regional, national and international levels shape health
  • influence the provision of  health care in underserved international settings
  • immerse themselves in a new culture and appreciate how health  and healthcare is viewed through that  culture 
  • learn about the provision of  medical care in low-technology settings
  • gain leadership experience in diverse clinical settings
  • learn about the role of public health interventions in medically underserved areas
  • participate in health-related research in international settings
  • develop an international perspective on the United States healthcare system

Program Components

  •  International Rotation lecture series
  •  Online reading curriculum 
  •  Overseas rotation
  •  CME requirement
  •  Final project


Kijabe, Kenya

“I have had the privilege to work and learn along side all these eager Kenyan nurses, doctors, and physician assistants.  My role has been simultaneously a learning one and a teaching one.  I have been able to lead an inpatient team, admit patients like an attending physician, make rounds with Kenyan students and residents, and present cases at our morning report; while at the same time having easy access to experienced family doctors and surgeons with whom to discuss questions or interesting cases.  I am especially learning a lot about tropical diseases from the Kenyan residents who have much more experience with things like malaria, TB, typhoid, meningitis, late presentations of cancer, obstetric complications, and the many conditions associated with HIV/AIDS – disseminated TB, kaposi’s sarcoma, PCP, thrush, etc.”

- Ocean Williams, International AOC resident


 Mulukuku, Nicaragua

“… residents who rotate here will gain experience in tropical medicine: malaria and dengue are endemic in the region, especially in the wet season (May - October).  Various bacterial, viral, parasitic diarrheal diseases are common, and rare infectious diseases such as rabies, Leishmaniasis and encephalitis can be seen in clinic.  The main mission of the MLO coop is women's sexual and reproductive health, so there is plenty of OB experience and deliveries. Residents will work with the health promoters (rural outreach workers) to refine their diagnostic skills, provide teaching on needed subjects, and accompany them into the campo to see first-hand how they care for their communities with their botiquin (medicine kit).  Public health experience comes in charlas (health talks) given to the community in health fair style, on Radio Mulukuku (owned by the coop) weekly, and by working with APS (Atencio'n Primaria en Salud) - the program run by Saul Contreras, the Nicaragua director for Doctor's for Global Health, whose mission is to bring health care to rural underserved Nicaragua.

- Julian Perez, International AOC resident





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