ATLAS OfferS a safe and responsible volunteer/international
medical rotation program


Completing an international medical rotation is often one of the most influential and positive elements of a medical trainee's educational experience.  We hope to open the eyes of interested medical trainees to the world of global health and the possibilities it can hold for their futures as cognizant and culturally sensitive healthcare providers.

We operate a thriving international rotation program, focused mainly on pediatric trainees, which helps to connect talented medical students, residents and physicians with our Ugandan colleagues for a safe and supervised global health experience. We've found this to be a mutually beneficial way to spread knowledge, gain experience and improve healthcare practices both in the US and in Uganda.

Dr. Umphrey and her Ugandan colleagues offers medical trainees the opportunity to earn health science school or residency program credit by completing an international health rotation in Uganda.  Trainees will work with Dr. Umphrey and/or her Ugandan colleagues at one of ATLAS’s current partner organizations.  Students from all health science disciplines are welcome to apply.  Residents from all disciplines are welcome to apply, but residents outside of pediatric, family practice and emergency medicine programs will spend more time working with approved supervisors from their discipline.    

objectives of Our International Rotation

  • Increase knowledge of tropical diseases common to equatorial regions, specifically Uganda and East Africa 
  • Increase knowledge of the treatment of common health conditions in low resource settings
  • Foster an understanding of the cost of healthcare and the value of medications, laboratory tests, and personnel in low resource areas
  • Learn how to work in a culturally different, multidisciplinary healthcare setting
  • Complete ATLAS’s required Sustainability or Quality Improvement Project
  • Learn how to apply experiences in Uganda to practice of medicine in home country
  • Satisfy requirements from home institutions for an international health elective
  • Become a global citizen and appreciate the ways healthcare links us all

Dr. Amy, PGY3, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Bududa, Uganda, 2013  (photo credit Georgia Ditzenberger)

Dr. Amy, PGY3, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Bududa, Uganda, 2013  (photo credit Georgia Ditzenberger)

The Ethics of Working Abroad:

So You Think You Want to Save the World?

We believe that all international rotations should be conducted in a safe and ethical manner that does not place patients at risk, trainees in situations for which they are not trained, or host sites at a disadvantage for having the trainees present.  We will work hard during your pre-trip preparation to instill a sense that you will be a guest in another country and that you are present to learn and contribute positively to your host site.  Please click here for more information.

If you are considering your first international volunteer or medical rotation experience, click here for a wonderful article about common mistakes we all make and pitfalls we can avoid.



Dr. Kristina and Dr. Elizabeth, MCW, with clinical preceptor, Dr. Jan; Mbale, 2016   (photo credit Elizabeth Loconto)

Dr. Kristina and Dr. Elizabeth, MCW, with clinical preceptor, Dr. Jan; Mbale, 2016 (photo credit Elizabeth Loconto)


Joy Hospice: Operated by Dr. Jan White, a UK-trained physician, Joy Hospice offers palliative care, maternity, inpatient, and acute care services to people in the Mbale District.

 Mbale Regional Referral Hospital: MRRH, the government referral hospital for the region, is a large site offering inpatient and outpatient services for many different medical specialities.  For volunteers with interests outside of pediatrics, we work with MRRH to facilitate a rotation experience suited to the volunteer's educational needs.

Pathways Development Initiative: This local Ugandan NGO provides educational and development support to villages in the Bududa District.  Operated by ATLAS's host family, the Zaale's, PDI operates a village school, operates Village Savings and Loan Associations, and provides educational support to area children. ATLAS helps provide outreach clinical support to PDIs kids. 


Matt, MS4, Univeristy of Wisconsin, Madison; Mbale, Uganda, 2014   (photo credit Matthew Kudek)

Matt, MS4, Univeristy of Wisconsin, Madison; Mbale, Uganda, 2014 (photo credit Matthew Kudek)


CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda: This pediatric neurosurgical hospital is one of a kind in eastern Africa, specializing in spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and other intracranial pathologies.  They welcome ATLAS volunteers to visit their site, particularly those with an interest outside of general in- and outpatient pediatrics. 

Buwasunguwi Health Centre: Also operated by Dr. Jan, this mid-level rural health facility offers outpatient, inpatient and maternity services to people in the rural Manafwa District.


Previous volunteers


Our Home Stay: The Zaale Family

Volunteers will have the pleasure of meeting the Zaale's, our host family in the Bududa District. The family provides a "soft landing" to our visitors who can experience the beautiful region with people who know it the best.

The Zaale's founded Pathways Development Initiative (PDI) Uganda, a grass-roots NGO focusing on community development and children's education, and visitors will have many opportunities to see the great work that they do!



Our Hostel: Casa del Turista and Eco Shamba Cafe

ATLAS found a home away from home at Casa Del Turista-Bed & Breakfast. Our volunteers and visitors have been welcomed by the caring and competent team at Casa since 2013, and Naminya Saleh and his colleagues have been a highlight of our visitors' trips again and again.

Congratulations to them for recently having been ranked Trip Advisor's #1 Bed and Breakfast in Mbale!  


VOLUNTEERS Out and About

The Bududa, Manafwa and Mbale districts are some of the most beautiful areas in Uganda.  Within easy travel distance are several wonderful excursion options, including hiking, safaris, water sports, and cultural activities.  All volunteers with ATLAS are encouraged to make the most of their time in Uganda by experiencing all that the Pearl of Africa has to offer!

Hiking in the Manafwa District, 2013 (Photo credit Mary Kaminsky) 

Hiking in the Manafwa District, 2013 (Photo credit Mary Kaminsky) 

Sipi Falls, 2012 (Photo credit Lisa Umphrey)

Sipi Falls, 2012 (Photo credit Lisa Umphrey)

Interested in an international rotation with ATLAS?

Contact us, and we'll be happy to discuss more details with you! 

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