The Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine (IDIM) of the University of Minnesota (UM) strives to “think and act globally and locally" and has several opportunities for doing so.
Global Health Course
A course in Tropical and Travel Medicine is directed by IDIM faculty (Bill Stauffer and Patricia Walker). This two-month summer course, which leads to an ASTMH diploma, is open free-of-charge to all ID fellows.
International Medicine comes to Minnesota
Because of a large influx of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to Minnesota during the past decade, Minnesotans don’t have to leave home to see “tropical medicine” e.g., cases of malaria in January; neurocysticercosis is in the differential diagnosis of all patients from Latin America who present with any neurological complaint. And tuberculosis, which continues to kill over 2 million people a year globally, has been on the rise in Minnesota due to the burgeoning foreign-born population. Likewise, at HCMC, where many immigrants receive their health care, over 200 HIV-infected African immigrants from 25 different countries are provided outstanding care.
Minnesotans connect with developing nations
The IDIM Division has affiliation agreements with several institutions abroad: St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India; Selian Lutheran Hospital, Arusha, Tanzania; and Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. The challenges that HIV and tuberculosis pose for India and Africa are daunting. The opportunities for superb research experiences in these countries are outstanding, and all fellows with internationally-related research projects are encouraged to consider spending time at one of these sites.
The Minnesota-Stockholm connection
In addition to being a microcosm of the developing world, Minnesota has nurtured its strong historical roots in Scandinavia. A faculty and student exchange program between the UM and the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm was initiated in 1987 with an endowment provided by Curtis Carlson, a Swedish immigrant who became the state’s wealthiest citizen. In 2002, a UM/KI collaboration on “Inflammation and Infection” was established, and stipends are available to support symposia and research exchange programs involving UM fellows and faculty in these disciplines.