2017 Brazil Exchange

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) had the privilege of hosting Dr. Marcio Oliveira, a provider from the State Specialized Center for Diagnosis, Treatment and Research (CEDAP) in STD and HIV/AIDS in Salvador, Brazil, to a visit of the UMB JACQUES initiative to share successes, challenges, innovations, and ideas for providing interprofessional services to individuals with HIV disease.  The visit was part of an ongoing collaboration between the CEDAP and UMB that was started by UM School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Isabelita Rambob in 2015. Dr. Rambob and UMB students visited CEDAP, a full-service clinic for individuals with HIV, in January 2015 and again in 2017 to study the work of the clinic. 

Reflections from Dr. Marcio Oliveira:

"Our initial IPE collaboration in 2015 gave me the opportunity to experience the cultural, scientific and social diversity between Brazil and the United States from my own country’s perspective. During my visit to the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2016, I was impressed by the high academic achievement and commitment to the city of Baltimore. Listening to the struggles facing communities within the city reminds me of the social and racial inequalities in my own hometown- Salvador-Bahia, Brazil. Salvador-Bahia is home to the highest concentration of African descendants outside the African continent.

It is important to emphasize the difference between the training of professional education in United States and Brazil. In Brazil we do not have the concept of college; instead, students go directly to professional schools when they graduate from high school. Because of this system, students begin to study medicine, dentistry, law, etc. at the ages of 17 or 18. The training and education in U.S. offers more access to modern technologies, use of simulation labs, and standardized patients. In Brazil, students in health-related programs have more contact with real patients, being that free patient services and care are provided through the federal and state university programs in exchange for their voluntary services.  Through the difference in training models, I have noticed several differencing including the relationship between clients and patients. In Brazil, the physical and emotional connection between health professionals and patients is closer both physically and emotionally. This may be due to cultural differences between the United States and Brazil.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the University of Maryland, Baltimore before receiving the UMB IPE team led ‌Dr. Rambob in Brazil (January 2015 & Winter 2017), because it allowed us to design the IPE program in Brazil based on the UMB students’ needs. During my visit to UMB, I had the pleasure to visit the JACQUES Initiatives and the laboratory of Dr. Gallo, someone I truly admire for his extensive work with HIV/AIDS. The HIV clinic does a wonderful job addressing the social and psychological aspect of the disease, counseling, initiation of therapy and treatment adherence. The discussion of my current Zika Virus research being conducted in Brazil was also a topic of discussion and presentation while visiting the UMB community. This research inspired a larger conversation about the importance of global health education and professional training through a global lense.

Thanks to the Center for Global Education Initiatives at UMB, the Interprofessional Education Opportunity program offered the participating UMB students an opportunity to expand their understanding of the importance of interprofessional education and practices to better address the needs of our patients, including a better understanding of the impact of cultural aspects in patient management. Through the partnership with CEDAP (HIV referring center), Sao Rafael Hospital and UNIJORGE University we were able to offer UMB students an opportunity to study the Brazilian public health system, experience the management of HIV/AIDS within this system, observe the training of health professionals in Brazil, and participate in comparisons of the public versus private healthcare systems."