(Boston)—An innovative program between Boston University School of Medicine’s (BUSM) department of family medicine and the Lesotho Ministry of Health is being honored by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. This program, the Lesotho-Boston Health Alliance (LeBoHA), is designed to allow students from Lesotho, who complete medical school abroad, to return to their home country to complete their residency and remain there. The goal is to improve the physician-patient ratio for Lesotho and train leaders for public health infrastructure.
The award recognizes excellence in the development of an original educational program or activity for family medicine residents, students or faculty and allows for a broad interpretation of programs to include residency programs, clerkships, services, curricula or other activities that have had a significant, positive impact on family medicine education.
"The partnership back in 2003 between BUSM’s department of family medicine and Ministry of Health of Lesotho, Africa, resulted in the development of an innovative family medicine residency program in Lesotho which is now fully accredited, self-sustaining and directed by one of the program’s graduates," said Heather Paladine, MD, chair of the STFM Communications Committee.
"This residency was designed to allow people from Lesotho, who must leave the country for medical school, to return for residency training and to stay in their community. All program graduates have remained to practice in Lesotho, and this has improved the physician-patient ratio for the country as well as training leaders for the public health infrastructure," she adds.
“Having a doctor who knows the country, culture and language -- and who desires to care for people in communities similar to where they are from-- is not lost on the people of the Mountain Kingdom. People from the various districts are now noticing the difference,” said Brian Jack, MD, professor of family medicine at BUSM and director of the LeBoHA
The program has also benefits residents and faculty from Boston University, who have had the opportunity to improve their teaching and research skills.
Founded in 1967, the STFM is a national community of academic leaders committed to developing an accomplished family medicine workforce, prepared to serve as the foundation of America’s health care system. Their members include physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, behavioral health specialists, researchers, nurses and other health care professionals, health system executives, administrators, fellows, residents, students, and others involved in the education of family physicians.