Across Mexico this week, medical students are receiving their diplomas, and entering a required one-year social service assignment. These new physicians typically work in ministry of health clinics in rural or underserved areas.

Building on PIH's tradition of investing in health care provider training, this month PIH's sister organization in Mexico, Compañeros En Salud (CES), will debut a groundbreaking curriculum geared towards physicians in their social service year.  

"This year is crucial to young doctors' development,” said Dr. Daniel Palazuelos, CES Clinical Director. “But they often lack the mentorship and support to be successful. CES will make those elements a centerpiece of our program, to help build a new generation of social medicine physicians.”

To do this, CES teamed up with Dr. Andrew Ellner of the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care. In addition, Brigham and Women's Hospital residents Dr. Andrew Van Wieren and Dr. Carlos Gonzalez Quesada were awarded a Martin P. Solomon Primary Care Scholarship that allows them to collaborate in the curriculum's develop and implementation on the ground. The team envisions that the curriculum will reinforce clinical skills, while also fostering analysis of how to improve global health delivery.

Speaking of the new project, Dr. Van Wieren said, "This is a wonderful opportunity to help new physicians understand how the community, health system, and they themselves each play a role in high quality primary care."

Through CES the social service physicians will take part in monthly seminars, as well as receive on-site mentorship, logistical support and access to needed supplies.

"In order to attract clinicians to rural areas, it has to be a rewarding experience, in which they can develop professionally, and have tools they need to do their jobs well,” said Dr. Hugo Flores, CES On Site Director.

The team hopes this curriculum will serve as a model that can be replicated at other rural sites in Mexico.

Learn more about PIH’s newest project, Compañeros En Salud.