Global Women’s Health Fellowship


The UIC Global Women’s Health Fellowship is a two-year program that provides a unique opportunity for an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) by combining one year of global women’s health based in Mekelle, northern Ethiopia, with one year of a clinical faculty appointment. The global women’s health component can consist of clinical research, education and/or clinical services.


The objectives of the UIC Global Women’s Health Fellowship are:

  1. Build a solid foundation of knowledge about global women’s health issues, a fundamental understanding of health care systems, social, cultural contexts and political environments.
  2. Acquire ability to understand and identify women’s reproductive and gynecologic health needs, and design, implement and evaluate interventions.
  3. Develop leadership skills to lead global women’s health projects once the fellowship is completed.
  4. Understand and apply the concepts of sustainability and capacity building in global women’s health.
  5. Develop an education project and/or clinical research project which addresses a women’s reproductive or gynecologic health issue for a specific population.
  6.  Establish network and skills for educational exchange, research, and funding.

 Field Experience:

The fellow will be expected to complete a research project within the two years. The UIC Department of OB/GYN has an active collaborative partnership with Mekelle University, College of Health Sciences. Our goal is to strengthen the existing OB/GYN residency program at Ayder Referral Hospital, to provide support for medical student education and faculty development and conduct ethical research through Mekelle University.  Clinical experience is based at Ayder Referral Hospital and Mekelle Hospital in Mekelle.

Dr. Goba, UIC Global Women’s Health Fellowship Director, has several ongoing research, education and service delivery projects through Mekelle University.

There may be other field opportunities available through the UIC Center for Global Health.

Fellowship Expectations:
Fellows will receive intensive mentorship from UIC core faculty as well as Ethiopian faculty who are recognized for their expertise in women’s reproductive and/or gynecologic health. Fellow responsibilities include:


  1. Provide excellent clinical care in Obstetrics and Gynecology as a junior faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago (50% time), with associated in-house obstetrical calls as assigned.
  2. Teach residents and medical students at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at hospitals associated with Mekelle University.


  1. Participate in ongoing research projects.
  2. Develop at least one new research project.
  3. Publish at least one manuscript in global women’s health in a peer-reviewed journal. Provide mentorship to OBGYN residents interested in global women’s health.

Global Women’s Health Resident Elective


Residents at UIC in their third year have a month to dedicate to an educational pursuit of their choice. Many residents use this time to pursue an elective in Global Health.  The objectives of the UIC Women’s Global Health rotation are as follows:


  1. Improve awareness of physicians in training at UIC to the health disparities in resource-limited international settings.
  2. Introduce OB/GYN residents to global women’s health opportunities for purposes of training in provision of health care and for research opportunities not otherwise available at their home institutions.
  3. Recruit applicants with experience and interest in health delivery to the resource-poor.

Mekelle University Rotation in Ethiopia:

UIC residents with interest in global health have the opportunity to visit MU-CHS (Mekelle University College of the Health-Sciences), thanks to the ongoing collaboration between UIC and Mekelle University. Residents have adequate supervision during their time abroad and have close contact with the MU-CHS collaborator and OB/GYN Department head, Dr. Yibrah. The resident has the opportunity to design the elective to suit their specific interests in OB/GYN.

Clinical experiences: Work experience at both Ayder Referral Hospital, involving outpatient clinics, inpatient labor and delivery, high risk obstetrics, and gynecologic surgery. There are also opportunities to visit Hamlin Fistula Hospital and other hospitals associated with the MU-CHS OB/GYN Residency Program. Residents work side by side with Ayder residents in a collaborative fashion, and are exposed to clinical experiences which are not seen at their home institution.

Quality improvement: Residents aim to make a lasting impact after they have left, and quality improvement projects during their rotation help achieve this. Examples include analyzing patient sign out processes, improving doctor-patient communications, and updating nomenclature and medical terminology used on teaching rounds.

Research: There are many opportunities for residents to participate in clinical or public health research projects at MU-CHS, for examples of these projects see “research page”.

Resident Expectations:

Residents are expected to complete the following during the time of their rotation.

  1. Write and submit goals to Dr. Goba and the residency program director prior to departure.
  2. Complete adequate steps to prepare for departure, including research preparations, cultural research, and trip preparations.
  3. Creation of resident blog detailing trip (optional).
  4. Submission of a post-trip report detailing all that was accomplished and a clinical case list.

Experiences at Mekelle University in Ethiopia:

  • Jessica George, Class of 2019. Clinical global health experience in April 2018
  • Elizabeth Corey, Class of 2018. Clinical global health experience in July 2017 working on a cervical cancer screening project where she learned VIA and cryotherapy and helped to enroll 60 patients in the study. Dr. Corey also taught Mekelle residents about colposcopy and how to perform the procedure.
  • Rachel Harrison, Class of 2017. Clinical global health experience in March 2016. She worked on a retrospective stillbirth study and helped design a high-risk pregnancy curriculum for Mekelle residents.
  • Kristina Pontarelli, Class of 2017. Clinical global health experience in March 2016