My Journey of Medical Pursuit

Written by Dr. Bulat Ziganshin, Director of the International Affairs Office at the WCHN/UVMLCOM Global Health Program and Director of the Global Health Elective for American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and Ross University School of Medicine students


Science and medicine have had a significant presence in my life since childhood, as my parents are both physician-scientists. Through the discussion of medical topics at the dinner table and frequent visits to their workplaces, I came to greatly respect these professions. When I was nine, my parents were invited to work as Research Fellows at University College London. During the two years that we lived in the United Kingdom, my parents worked with a number of outstanding scientists and physicians with whom I interacted at an early age. This rich exposure to medicine and science played a major role in shaping my interests which matured through high school and ultimately resulted in medical pursuit.

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Creating a Patient Education Program in Tanzania

Written by Dr. Alexandra Miller '18


In large, bold type on page nine of my Swahili Medical Dictionary and Phrasebook (MJF Cooper 2006) is written Bora kinga kuliko tiba, which translates to “prevention is better than cure.” Although this phrase is common in English, we forget that for some diseases there is no cure. Cervical cancer is often diagnosed beyond a curable stage in resource-limited settings, despite being a preventable disease. Cervical cancer disproportionality affects women living in rural Tanzania. In, fact cervical cancer diagnosis is nearly ten times greater in rural Tanzania than in the United States.  

Ethical Dilemmas in Global Health: Financial Barriers and Interventions

Written by Dr. Stephen Winters, and Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, Founder of the African Community Center for Social Sustainability, Nakaseke, Uganda


From a series of discussions about ethical dilemmas in global health, with responses from one global health leader in the Global South and one in the Global North. Please leave us your feedback in the comments section below, and send us ethical dilemmas you would like to see discussed.

Reader Response: We Either Give Life Or We Take It

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


I think the most important word is "vulnerable." While reading this, I was thinking about the fundamental lack of acknowledgement  of each woman’s humanity. Perhaps the more appropriate word is simply humanity. While spoken language is often a barrier, there is an alternative, a universal language: smiling, holding a hand, sitting down and touching an arm, a cup of tea or glass of water…something to say, “You are not alone here. I am with you.”

Going Through It Alone

Written by Asaad Traina '18


This week I began my rotation at the Hospital Universitario Maternidad Nuestro Senora de la Altagracia, (HUMNSA) a public tertiary care hospital in Santo Domingo specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Treating mainly high-risk patients, HUMNA serves as the referral center for all other public OB/GYN hospitals in the country. This  hospital’s large size and comparative lack of resources makes it a very different setting from that of the Cardiology Hospital where I was prior. Although there were several open beds on the Labor and Delivery inpatient unit, the resident informed me that this was a very low census for them, and that there are up to three women sharing a bed during  the busiest times.

Ethical Dilemmas in Global Health: Gender and Culture

Written by Dr. Stephen Winters, and Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, Founder of the African Community Center for Social Sustainability, Nakaseke, Uganda


From a series of discussions about ethical dilemmas in global health, with responses from one global health leader in the Global South and one in the Global North. Please leave us your feedback in the comments section below, and send us ethical dilemmas you would like to see discussed.

Kumusha

Written by Tendai Machingaidze, medical student studying in Russia who helped support UVMLCOM/WCHN global health participants in Zimbabwe


Having been an international student for the past seventeen years, I think about home a lot. In Shona, the concept of “kumusha” encompasses the ties that bind us to a specific portion of the earth, and the families and communities that formed us. Regardless of our physical location in the world, these roots determine who we are at our core, and who we will become.

Entrega de Guardia

Written by Traina Assad '18


As I continue my rotation at Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, the way in which “Entrega de Guardia” is conducted sticks out to me. Entrega happens every weekday morning with all the residents and fellows in the entire hospital (over one-hundred trainees in total) and from my perspective, a combination of sign out (from night team to day team), morning report, and grand rounds. I have attended Entrega every day during my two-week rotation here, and have learned something from it each time.

The Quandry of Relaying Experience

Written by Julia Shatten '18


It has been almost two and a half months since returning from Uganda. In the midst of interviews, I work on summing up my experience into a succinct and palatable interview answer: Yes, Uganda was life-changing. Yes, I will go back. It made me view inequity differently. It helped me understand the depth of ethical nuance, and that just because something is hard does not mean we should turn our backs on it. Yes, it was a good experience.

Value in Providing for Others

Written by Dr. Bilal Khan, Pulmonary/Critical Care Specialist and Fellow in Sleep Medicine Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut


After completing my undergraduate degree in economics, I worked for J.P. Morgan Chase on the fast-track plan to Wall Street. During that time, I joined the volunteer fire department and became an Emergency Medical Technician, just as a hobby. But after a year, I noticed a striking difference between business and medicine: if you are good at something in business, you do not share that knowledge because it increases your value over your competition. But in healthcare, your value is based on what you are able to teach and provide for others, thereby improving their lives and positively impacting your community.