Alumni profile: Glenn Geelhoed

Glenn Geelhoed

Current job title and organisation:

Professor of Surgery, Professor of International Medical Education, Professor of Immunology, Microbiology, and Tropical Medicine, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA 20037.

Founder and CEO, Mission to Heal, a nonprofit NGO for the teaching of medical and surgical care globally in remote areas of the developing world.

Can you please tell us a bit about your current work/research?

For over half a century, I have been conducting Medical and Surgical Missions abroad in the regions of the world that most require development of indigenous skills. More recently, the number, intensity and duration of the missions have been increasing following the pandemic pause with over a dozen missions annually in which I bring with me first-world learners and practitioners to join in the development of local health care workers in remote settings of Africa, Asia and South America. I have developed Mobile Surgical Units as a method of teaching local health care givers to indigenize sustainable health care skills.

Glenn Geelhoed Mobile Surgical Units

What course and year did you study at LSHTM?

DTMH, 1996, Class Rep.

Why did you choose to study with LSHTM?

As the World’s “premier Public health institution” I had wished to formalize my interest in the diseases and preventive health practices I had experienced in the tropical regions of the developing world, and associate with like-minded colleagues in developing humanitarian approaches to health care education where it was needed most.

Did you have to overcome any challenges to study with us?

The usual preoccupations with the provincial concerns of institutional and professional exclusion of broader interest areas: I believe that for my own home base institution and for LSHTM, I may have been the first surgeon to pursue areas of tropical medicine to incorporate into a global health practice.

What were your favourite memories from your studies with us?

The superb faculty and collegiality of my colleague fellow students had made for lifelong for friendships and ready access to knowledgeable local expertise in my many travels as visiting professor and traveling scholar. My experiences while at the LSTM was enhanced by my being the Class Rep and in meeting several Ministers of health and leaders.

How has your LSHTM degree helped you in your career?

It has opened doors and enhanced credibility as an International Medical Educator and now as the Master Surgeon Educator of the American College of Surgeons.

What would you like to achieve in future?

Sustainable progress in enhancing care being first developed and then brought up to new levels of superior competence in each of the regions into which the International Medical Education initiatives have been introduced, such that there might be linkages in networking a local referral community in continual quality improvement.

Do you have any advice for students/recent graduates?

Join in the nobility and rewarding efforts of this humanitarian cause with full commitment as there is an unlimited need and a corresponding satisfying reward in dedicated thoughtful development of this human potential through the enhancement of health and health care education.

Do you have any social handles (Twitter/Facebook usernames) you would like us to use?