Ted MacKinney, MD '85, MPH, MCW associate professor of medicine (internal medicine), has spent the better part of his professional life advancing healthcare capacity in Nepal with his wife, Rachel, a registered nurse. His three children, now 26, 28 and 30, consider it home as much as they do the United States. While not profitable, this clinical path is significantly rewarding for the many people he has helped and what he learned from them.
When Dr. MacKinney arrived in rural Nepal for the first time in 1993, the small village experienced an average of one death per day. The statistics were easily tracked, as deaths were broadcast as the bodies were carried through the village on the way to the cremation site. In those early days, he practiced medicine under a tree because there was no health care outside of natural healers and medicine shops. Over the years, he collaborated with the community to build a self-sustaining 20-bed mission hospital, and then the rate dropped to fewer than one death per month.
"This was a career choice, a life calling, to serve vulnerable communities. When I think about the difference we've made in people's lives and how we have been changed, I think, that was really fun. Now I get the opportunity to influence the next generation of both Nepali and MCW medical students,'" said Dr. MacKinney.
Dr. MacKinney serves on the MCW Global Health Advisory Council and advises students in the Global Health Pathway. He also mentors MCW medical student quality improvement research with his Nepali colleagues. Additionally, he is the course director for a one-month medical rotation that is supported by the MCW Office of Global Health. Since 2012, this unique educational experience has provided nearly 100 MCW medical students and residents/fellows an opportunity to understand the pathophysiology, diagnostic options and treatment modalities for the acute, subacute and chronic presentations of common tropical medicine conditions.
The health of the entire U.S. population can be affected by events across the globe. Dr. MacKinney seeks to address and understand complex global health concerns and solutions both in Nepal and in Milwaukee.
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