Ingabire Grace Balinda, MD
University of Virginia
contemporary African literature, traveling with close friends and family, exploring new restaurants in Boston.
What attracted you to the MGH Global Medicine program?
I sought a program that would afford me the time and resources to explore various global health career paths. With its substantial protected and funded time allocated to field work, research and coursework, MGH global medicine was the perfect fit for me.
As a resident here, what have you loved about the program?
At the beginning of intern year, our program director told us something along the lines of “all you have to do is just show up to work every day. Buckle up, we will get through residency and you will come out an excellent physician. Just trust the process”.
The “process”, it turns out, is a mixture of equal parts graded autonomy in the management of a high volume of medically-complex patients, preeminent faculty who take pride in training the next generation of master clinicians, co-residents who are just as passionate about social justice as they are about ECMO, innumerable career development opportunities, and a program that constantly raises its own bar for excellence by regularly seeking and implementing residents’ suggestions for an optimal learning experience.
How has the program prepared you to be a leader in global health?
The program’s vast resources and protected academic time for global health field work, research and coursework have equipped me with the tools to transform my abstract vision to help improve Rwanda’s healthcare system into concrete action. By spending two months of clinical time per academic year in my native Rwanda, I have been able to build longitudinal relationships with key health system stakeholders such that I currently have the privilege to be involved in on-the ground efforts geared toward improving the quality of decentralized care for non-communicable diseases. The program’s sponsored coursework in clinical effectiveness through the Harvard School of Public Health has equipped me with essential clinical research skills that will allow me to actively participate in ongoing health services research projects in Rwanda. Finally, structured mentorship from my peers and a vast network of thought leaders in global health have proved invaluable as I craft my own career path in global health.