MSU medical student clerkship in Dakar, Senegal

IM 621; “Clinical Tropical Medicine Clerkship”

January - mid-February 2012

In addition to the existing clerkship opportunity in Malawi with Dr. Terrie Taylor, IM 621 “Clinical Tropical Medicine Clerkship”, there will be the additional opportunity in the 2011-2012 academic year in Dakar, Senegal, if enough interest is expressed by Michigan State University COM and CHM students.  This is the fourth year for this clerkship offering, organized by Dr. David Wenkert.  The clinical offering is to allow fourth year College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) and College of Human Medicine (CHM) medical students a six week rotation in hospitals and clinics affiliated with the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal.  The rotation will allow the medical student to rotate in hospitals and clinics of UCAD and those affiliated with it in various disciplines of medicine.  The enrolling medical students will be affiliated during the rotation with English speaking Senegalese medical students and/or residents and physicians. COM and CHM students enrolling in the clinical clerkship will live on the UCAD campus or with Senegalese host families.  David Wenkert, M.D., Ph.D. will be present at UCAD during the first week of the students rotations and aid with the coordination of their clinical rotations and adjustment to life at UCAD and in Dakar, Senegal.  The six-week clerkship is to begin at the beginning of January 2012 and extend through mid-February.  A basic speaking knowledge of French is helpful, but not mandatory for this rotation.  It is preferred that participating students have previously taken the IM 618 “Clinical Tropical Medicine” course, taught by Dr. Terrie Taylor.

UCAD, established in 1918 with the School of Medicine of Dakar, is one of the best known and respected institutions of higher education in West Africa.  It has a student body of over 60,000 students and several faculties, including Medicine, Law, Letters (humanities), and Sciences.  UCAD resides in Dakar, a city of over one million inhabitants and the capital of Senegal.  UCAD is located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean at a latitude of approximately 14 degrees.  It has a tropical climate and the time of the clinical rotation coincides with its cooler season.   By virtue of its almost continuous administration and control by France from the 17th century until its independence in 1960, Senegal is very much a “Francophone” country.  Consequently, French is a language spoken much more frequently and is better understood by its citizens than English.  (Wolof is the most commonly spoken native language.)

MSU has established affiliations with UCAD, including a yearly undergraduate study abroad program.  The clinical offering of IM 621 in Senegal will be taking place at the time of year that the undergraduate study abroad MSU students are also present at UCAD (January through May).

Fourth year medical students who are interested in this clerkship opportunity are encouraged to contact:

David Wenkert, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Physiology
Telephone: 884-5123
Hospital entrance
Past MSU medical student participants and UCAD physicians
On Ile de Gorée:  MSU undergraduate and medical students by a baobab tree