The Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine
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Given in Lima, Perú at:
In collaboration with:

The Gorgas Memorial Institute
Image of General Gorgas U.S. General William Crawford Gorgas, a tropical medicine pioneer and native Alabamian, is credited with the elimination of yellow fever and malaria that allowed the Panama Canal to be built. For over 60 years, until the loss of congressional funding in 1990, the Gorgas Memorial Institute operated the Gorgas Laboratories in Panama. The GMI was moved to UAB in 1992 in order to carry on its tradition of research, service and training. At its 1995 Board of Directors meeting the GMI approved resumption of the Gorgas Course as an English language training initiative to serve the international community. From 1996-2007 336 participants from 50 countries have graduated from the Gorgas Diploma Course. Faculty are drawn from UPCH, UAB, & US NMRCD. Guest faculty rotate each year from the US, Canada, & Africa.
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Instituto de Medicina Tropical
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

Since its founding in 1968 the Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Alexander von Humboldt" (IMT) has risen to international stature in service, research and training in infectious diseases and tropical medicine. The 21 full-time and 20 affiliated faculty publish 15-20 papers per year with the majority in international English language journals. Faculty currently serve on World Health Organization TDR steering commitees, on the Executive Board of the Pan American Infectious Disease Society, the International Federation of Tropical Medicine, and are regularly contracted as temporary advisors to PAHO and WHO. Dr. Eduardo Gotuzzo, IMT Director is President-Elect of the International Federation of Tropical Medicine, Past-President of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, and Past-Counselor of the International Society of Travel Medicine. Formal affiliations and substantive history of joint publication exist with Johns Hopkins (enteric pathogens), University of Maryland (vaccines), University of Washington (AIDS/STD), University of Miami, as well as with UAB (malaria, mycology, helminthiasis) and the Antwerp Tropical Medicine Institute.

The faculty teaches extensively in English and in Spanish, in the classroom and at the bedside, in Lima and at field sites. In addition to undergraduate, clerkship, and internship teaching in microbiology, public health, internal medicine, and infectious/tropical diseases, 2 infectious disease fellows are graduated each year. 10-12 medical students per year from the US/UK do clinical elective rotations at the IMT. Eight to ten CME courses for Peruvian physicians are taught annually and training courses for Latin American and European physicians coming to work in the Amazon rain forest are offered on an ongoing basis. An annual 3-week English-language clinical tropical medicine course for medical students from around the world is offered each April.

Physical Infrastructure

The IMT is located in a free-standing building (see photo here) completed in 1977 adjacent to the main hospital (see photo here) on the campus of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima. Ongoing daily IMT activities include ward rounds on the 36 bed inpatient unit, 3 outpatient clinics (general and rotating subspecialty), processing of patient specimens in fully equipped parasitology, mycology and bacteriology laboratories, and didactic teaching in the classrooms. An adjacent air-conditioned Educational Resource Facility (ERF) (see photo here) was built in 1996 for the exclusive use of Gorgas Course participants. In addition to reference texts, audio visual materials (WHO & PAHO videos; teaching slide carousels), and microscopes, the ERF contains an individual study area, lockers, and toilet facilities for the course participants. Seven personal computers with high-speed internet capabilities are in the ERF, and wireless internet access is available in all classrooms and study areas.

A wide spectrum of tropical diseases present to the IMT and its field clinics (see photos here). In addition to the complete range of common ubiquitous tropical enteric, respiratory, and viral exanthematous diseases the following is a partial list of infectious agents presenting to the IMT: malaria, yellow fever, leishmaniasis, Chaga's disease, cyclosporiasis, brucellosis, leprosy, plague, free-living amebas, HTLV-1, strongyloidiasis, chancroid, viral hepatitis (A,B,C, & D), oropouche virus, bartonellosis, leptospirosis, cholera, anthrax, cysticercosis, diphyllobothriasis, paragonomiasis, fascioliasis, typhus, diphtheria, paracoccidioidomycosis, rabies, echinococcosis, and chromomycosis.

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University of Alabama at Birmingham
William C. Gorgas Center for Geographic Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham

UAB is in the top tier of US institutions in the study of infectious diseases (including tropical diseases, AIDS, STDs, and vaccine related issues).   At the William C. Gorgas Center for Geographic Medicine in the Department of Medicine's Division of Infectious Diseases, specific diseases being studied by 8 full-time and 10 affiliated faculty include: malaria, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), onchocerciasis (river blindness), pneumocystis, toxoplasmosis and HIV infection. Field sites where Geographic Medicine staff are actively conducting ongoing research projects include Perú, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Bangladesh.  The Center currently has Federal funding from 3 agencies (Fogarty International Centre of NIH, USAID, and CDC) for training of personnel and development of surveillance programs for newly "emerging" infections both in the US and in developing countries.  The UAB Travelers Health Clinic has an established national reputation and provides pre-travel medical preparation to overseas travelers as well as consultation for ill patients with possible tropical or parasitic disease.  UAB faculty will be on-site for 7 of 9 weeks during the course.

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This page was last updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Gorgas Courses in Clinical Tropical Medicine