Dr. Dahlman began his global health and missions career with a two-month medical school experience doing community health and hospital care in northeast Congo (then Zaire) in 1980. He and his family returned to Africa in 1992 to work with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) at AIC Kijabe Hospital, where he served for a total of nine years as a family physician and medical director. In 1995, the Institute of Family Medicine (INFA-MED), a Kenyan-based NGO, began planning for the first ever Family Medicine residency in Kenya. In 2000, INFA-MED collaborated with Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya) to design a relevant post-graduate program which was intended to meet the significant disparities of the healthcare workforce in the poorest rural areas of the country. Dr. Dahlman was on the five-person curriculum-writing team for this project. The three-year program launched in January, 2005, at three church and one government district hospitals of 220 – 300 beds each. As of 2014, this program has graduated 16 family doctors. The three church hospitals are in the process of aligning with Kabarak University to form the first Christian-based family medicine residency in East Africa. The curriculum is specifically designed to enhance mentorship and discipleship towards wholistic care and service in mission.
As Director of INFA-MED from 2002 – 2010, a first-ever, practice-based, small group continuing education program was launched with the Kenya Association of Family Physicians, an obstetrical skills education course (ALSO) was inaugurated, and a scholarship program for family medicine residents was begun. Current projects include: development of the Digital African Health Library, an Africa-relevant, integrated point-of-care health information resource on smartphone devices; designing a comprehensive basic emergency skills course to promote rural hospital teams; promoting the wholistic care initiatives of Prime International (UK); and developing faculty expertise in teaching and mentoring within East African medical schools and post-graduate residencies. While in the US, Dr. Dahlman serves as the Health Ministries Advisor for AIM and seeks to mobilize and encourage those with global health interests to join the emerging field of family medicine development throughout the majority world.
Dr. Dahlman attended the University of Minnesota Medical School and University of North Dakota family medicine residency programs in the 1980s before practicing for eight years as a full service family physician in a remote Minnesota community (1984-92). He was Asst. Director for Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program 1995 – 1999 and Clinical Curriculum supervisor at U of MN Medical School Duluth from 1998 – 2000. He completed the Master of Science in Health Professions Education at Maastricht University, Netherlands, in 2010 to assist with the expansion of family medicine training and faculty development in East and Central Africa. He is currently the Head of Kabarak University Department of Family Medicine and Community Care.