Latest News MMSc-GHD Publications Invited Presentations


PGSSCGlobal Surgery 2030

Two years ago, The Lancet commissioned a group of experts in a variety of disciplines—chaired by Dr. John G. Meara, Harvard Medical School, Mr. Andy Leather, Kings College London, and Dr. Lars Hagander, Lund University—to assess the current state of global surgery and to develop recommendations on how to improve the state of global surgical care delivery around the world.

The initial findings from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery have been published. The main report, along with the first set of accompanying research papers, abstracts, and teaching cases are now available. Please visit the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery website for details and links.

Congratulations to the commissioners, affiliated researchers, and all those who supported this work.

Additional coverage:


John Meara, DMD, MD, MBA

Dr. John G. Meara named Steven C. and Carmella R. Kletjian Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in the Field of Global Surgery at Harvard Medical School

John Meara, DMD, MD, MBA, has been named Kletjian Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in the field of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Meara is director of the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine; chair of the executive committee of the Harvard Plastic Surgery Training Program; chief of the Department of Plastic & Oral Surgery at Boston Children's Hospital; director of the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship in collaboration with Partners In Health; and co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. This inaugural professorship will help establish and expand an academic foundation for global surgery. Congratulations Dr. Meara!


The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery publishes thee teaching cases

The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University has published three teaching cases through The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. The cases, written by Rebecca Weintraub, Julie Rosenberg, Tiffany Chao, and Sarah Arnquist, may be accessed through The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery website. Case 1: The Indus Hospital: Delivering Free Health Care in Pakistan; Case 2: Kijabe Hospital: Exploring the surgical services and surgical training opportunities at a nearly 100-year old Christian mission hospital; and Case 3: Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Funding for these cases was provided by the Pershing Square Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Dr. Nancy Oriol2015 Community Clinician of the Year

Nancy E. Oriol, MD, dean for students at Harvard Medical School and lecturer on social medicine in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, was named 2015 Community Clinician of the Year of the Suffolk District Medical Society.

The Massachusetts Medical Society—the statewide professional association of physicians—established the award in 1998 to recognize a physician from each of the Society's 20 district medical societies who has made significant contributions to his or her patients and the community. Congratulations Dr. Oriol! [read more]


Infant Hydrocephalus, Uganda, and the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change

Infant hydrocephalus, a life-threatening accumulation of fluid in the brain often caused by an infection, is much more common in Uganda than in the US. Benjamin Warf, MD, a Department of Global Health and Social Medicine affiliate through the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) and associate professor of surgery at Boston Children's Hospital has been champion for infected Ugandan infants since 2000. The work that Dr. Warf and the PGSSC have done in infant hydrocephalus is gaining recognition and funding.

  • Funding: a recent R01 application through the Fogarty International Center at NIH "1R01HD085853-01 Neurocognitive outcomes and changes in brain and CSF volume after treatment of post-infectious hydrocephalus in Ugandan infants by shunting or ETV/CPC: a randomized prospective trial" has an upper second percentile score through the Fogarty International Center at NIH. This will complete and extend an existing clinical trial in Uganda under the R21 grant of the same title.
  • On April 20, the PGSSC's work with hydrocephalus in Uganda and the training program, CURE Hydrocephalus, was a feature story on PRI's The World (in partnership with BBC radio).
  • A story about the PGSSC's work with hydrocephalus in Uganda was published in the Lancet News, in April.
  • Work with hydrocephalus in Uganda was featured as a case study at the launch of the Lancet Commission of Global Surgery.


Center for Primary Care Announces New Case Series

The Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care has released a new teaching case series that is designed to support front line primary care leaders. The first cases feature Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation and focus on organizational culture, leadership, governance, succession planning, teams, integrating primary care with the rest of the SCF health system, financing, and sustainability. To read more and to register to receive the Southcentral cases, please visit the Center's website.


Utility, Fairness, and Risk

Nir Eyal, DPhil, associate professor of global health and social medicine, participated in a question & answer about utility, fairness, and risk in health care with Harvard College Effective Altruism.

To read the full Q&A, please visit the Huffington Post website.




Identified versus Statistical Lives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

"The identified lives effect describes the fact that people demonstrate a stronger inclination to assist persons and groups identified as at high risk of great harm than those who will or already suffer similar harm, but endure unidentified." I. Glenn Cohen, Norman Daniels, and Nir Eyal, DPhil, editors of the book, "Identified versus Statistical Lives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective," apply perspectives from psychology, public health, law, ethics, and public policy, toward answering the issue of identified versus statistical lives.


MMSc-GHD Updates


MMSc-GHD Accepting Applications beginning in September

Global health practitioners are encouraged to apply for the Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD) program, a two-year program that focuses on health care delivery in resource-poor settings. Students take courses during year 1 and complete a research project during year 2. Applications are accepted September-November 2015. Details may be found on the website. Those with questions may contact Christina Lively.

Talk given by Reginald Fils-Aime, MD, '16

On April 23, class of 2016 MMSc-GHD student Reginald Fils-Aime, MD presented the talk, "General practitioners in a multidisciplinary team providing quality care to persons living with mental disorders in rural Haiti: Cultural challenges and opportunities," at the 36th Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture Annual Meeting in Providence, RI.

Incoming MMSc-GHD student published

An incoming MMSc-GHD student in the class of 2017, Evrard Nahimana, MD, was first author of the article “Race to the top initiative: Towards excellence in health care service delivery,” in The Lancet Global Health, March 2015. The text of the article is available online.

GH708: Ethnographic Methods for Global Health

Professors Byron Good and Mary Jo Delvecchio Good, with Eric Jacobson (lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine), developed and led a new graduate seminar, GH 708: Ethnographic Methods for Global Health, this spring for the MMSc-GHD students and the Fogarty fellows. This course has sought to introduce students to the place of medical anthropology and ethnographic research and writing in global health research, and to provide students supervised experiences in ethnographic research methods. Students have read ethnographic writing, completed several interviewing and observational experiences, and developed a bibliography of anthropological writing specific to their research interests.

Recent Publications

Invited Presentations

Arthur Kleinman, MD

  • Dr. Kleinman, professor of medical anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, presented at Yale Psychiatry Grand Rounds on March 6, 2015. Dr. Kleinman spoke about his interest in global mental health and the future of this field as part of Yale's "Global Mental Health: Where we are Today." You may view his talk on Yale's website.
  • March 12, Dr. Kleinman presented "The Failure of Academic Psychiatry: What to do about it," at Stanford University's Psychiatry Grand Rounds.
  • March 20, Dr. Kleinman presented a paper: "Addressing the New Agenda of Social and Health Problems in Asia: Why Economic and Policy Studies Need Anthropology and Global Health" as part of the opening plenary panel at the SEA Studies Symposium 2015-Programme, "Year of the ASEAN: Integrating Southeast Asia" at the Sunway University, Malaysia. To read more about the symposium, please visit their website.

Chunling Lu, PhD, assistant professor of global health and social medicine, has been invited to present her abstract, "Financing nutritional care provision in rural health centers with a community-based health insurance program: a case study in Rwanda," at the International Health Economics Association being held in Milan in July.

Sabine Hildebrandt, MD, lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, gave two presentations at Duke University, History of Medicine Collections and Trent Center for Bioethics on March 23-23, 2015: "Ethical transgressions in anatomical research in National Socialism" and "The role of anatomists in the destruction of victims of National Socialism." On April 16, 2015, she also presented, "The anatomy of murder: ethical transgressions and anatomical sciences in the Third Reich" at Medical Grand Rounds at Washington University in St. Louis on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).