Reimagining medical training
To globalize medical education and inspire collaboration between care workers around the world.
Train. Teach. Connect. Create.
Transforming medical training into a modern, robust, globalized medical program.
Residents Abroad aims to create opportunities for care workers that enrich their education and stimulate international collaboration. Our goal is to inspire a global medical community rooted in curiosity, mutual respect, and partnership.
Facilitating interactions between care workers on a global scale enhances the quality and quantity of care.
Stimulating global exchanges of people and knowledge builds towards equity in opportunities and support.
Participating in international collaboration makes us stronger as a whole and inspires innovation.
Innovation in residency training is essential to tackle future global medical challenges.
2017-2019: Founding of Residents Abroad
Residents Abroad’s story started in 2017 when co-founders Dr. Gauthier Willemse and Dr. Joren Raymenants experienced difficulties identifying, arranging, and engaging in international rotations during their medical specialty training. After a long process of research and informal applications, both completed international rotations abroad and were immensely enthusiastic about their learning experience on the personal, professional, and medical levels. Receiving many inquiries from their peers on how to organize international rotations, they felt there was an unmet need for international medical residency training opportunities. Medical residency training lacked the possibility of an easily accessible and qualitative international training experience in an increasingly globalized world.
Also, they were dismayed by the fact that equally qualified peers from the Global South faced higher barriers to obtain medical training abroad than their peers from advanced economies did. They believed medical training should be a worldwide exchange of skills, people, and research, regardless of material resources or residency status. Convinced that these rotations would considerably improve the quality of medical residency training, they started ideating on a solution on rendering international training opportunities more accessible for their colleagues in Belgium and elsewhere. To change the current state of events, they formed a multidisciplinary team and consulted professionals in web design and communications to launch Residents Abroad.
2019-2021: Unilateral Platform, Belgium
In November 2019, the prototype was launched in Flanders, Belgium, offering international training opportunities for residents from Flanders, seeing them as a first step to bilateral exchanges. Residents Abroad achieved initial traction, the capture of early adopters, and the successful completion of international rotations. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus pandemic canceled most of the international rotations and temporarily paused the program. This cessation provided an opportunity to reiterate and refine the platform towards a facilitator of truly multidirectional exchanges and add a Global Health and decolonizing perspective.
2022: Reimagining Residency Training, a multilateral platform, United States
Residents Abroad’s transitioning to a multilateral platform puts equity in health education at the center by making international rotations accessible for all medical students, residents, fellows and researchers, not only for the well-connected and economically well-resourced. Residents Abroad will provide better training opportunities, more hands-on training, exchange of expertise, and connect supply and demand within the health system of international medical education. The team also expanded to an international group with multiple professional and regional backgrounds, thus better equipped to address the challenge.
Residents Abroad is incubated at the Harvard Innovation Labs Venture Program and is developed with the support from faculty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.