Polaris Programs in Global Health
Polaris is one of the World Organization of Family Doctors’ (WONCA’s) regional movements for new and future family physicians. Launched in 2014 on World Family Doctor Day (May 19), the Polaris Movement for New and Future Family Physicians in North America provides an international platform for medical students, residents, and new family physicians. It aims to augment medical training with global experiences that include teaching, research, advocacy, exchanges, and leadership.
As a member of Polaris, you will have opportunities to:
- Interact with forward-thinking individuals who share your interest and excitement about family medicine
- Share best practices with international colleagues and learn from their best practices
- Participate in international exchanges, conferences, leadership opportunities, and research
- Broaden your exposure to the practice of family medicine internationally, including firsthand experience with diseases and conditions that are rarely encountered in North America
- Participate in Wonca initiatives, including:
- Family Medicine 360(sites.google.com), a four-week international exchange program for junior family physicians who want to experience primary care abroad. Polaris members have access to hundreds of exchange sites around the world.
- The ASPIRE Global Leader Program, a 3-tiered program that focuses on developing core leadership skills (e.g., research, public speaking, planning, cultural competency) through international collaboration
- Wonca Special Interest groups—focused on areas such as rural health, mental health, and research—that connect you to family physicians around the world
Membership in Polaris is free to medical students, residents, and junior family physicians living in the Caribbean, the United States, or Canada.
"[Polaris] allows participants to expand their horizons and join a global environment of collaboration that has existed for many years throughout the rest of the world. Globalization will only continue, so we must learn from others, teach others, and improve our footprint in the world through our experiences, collaboration, and research."
— Jelaun Newsome, DO PGY3 Resident Physician - Fort Bragg, NC