UC Davis Medical Resident Program

As part of our efforts to improve human health in the communities surrounding gorilla habitat, third-year medical residents from UC Davis travel to Rwanda and volunteer their skills at Ruhengeri Hospital, which is located down the street from the Gorilla Doctors’ regional headquarters in Musanze. Ruhengeri Hospital is the only hospital serving the one million people who live in the region, receiving patients referred from local health clinics in communities surrounding Volcanoes National Park.

The residents participate in grand rounds with the hospital’s physicians, care for patients in the hospital's intensive care and other units, and conduct informal training sessions with the hospital's faculty and nursing staff. In turn, the residents gain invaluable firsthand experience with practicing medicine in a country with limited resources. Dr. Tonya Fancher, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, oversees the Gorilla Doctors’ resident program at UC Davis Medical Center.

"Working at Ruhengeri Hospital I have seen pathology such as Typhoid fever, tetany, and cerebral malaria—things I may never encounter in my practice in the U.S.,” said Dr. Uppinder Mattu, who volunteered with Gorilla Doctors in 2011. “I have gained a lot from my experience in Rwanda, and so I hope to give back. My fellow resident, Brooks Kuhn, and I have started a research study to determine the sensitivity of Salmonella Typhi, the organism that causes Typhoid fever, to various antibiotics."