Letter from the Editor: A Call to Write

Written by Mitra Sadigh, Writer/Editor at the UVMLCOM/WCHN Global Health Program and Editor of Global Health Diaries.

As reflective writers, we process our experiences and emergent feelings in the immediacy of writing them down, each word a wipe on a foggy mirror. In the midst of a slowly sharpening image, we uncover truths about ourselves, others, and the ways in which we exist in and interact with the world.


Dance of the Mentor-Mentee

Written by Mitra Sadigh, Writer/Editor at the UVMLCOM/WCHN Global Health Program, and Dr. Majid Sadigh, Trefz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health at WCHN and Director of Global Health at UVMLCOM

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way.
Instead, let life live through you.
And do not worry that your world is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

A supervisor is one who is in charge of overseeing and directing a project or people. The role of supervisor helps ensure smooth, proper conduction of workplace-related tasks. There is an understanding between supervisor and supervisee that the the one will somehow advise the other in workplace-related inquiries, but the relationship between supervisor and supervisee is not conventionally personal in nature. With so much to be learned in the realm of global health, and so much at stake- principally the physical and mental well-being of students, patients, and partner institutions- supervision may fall short in fully addressing student needs.

New Insights

Written by Dr. Nguyen Huyen Chau, Global Health Scholar from Vietnam

The United States welcomed me with pleasant weather and a comfortable house in a peaceful residential area near Norwalk Hospital. I was immediately impressed with the hospital’s clean, peaceful environment, and amazed by the high level of organization that allows for each patient to have his or her own specific appointment time, thereby eliminating long waiting periods.

Growth in Many Directions

Written by Dr. Majid Sadigh, Trefz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health at Western Connecticut Health Network, and Director of Global Health at University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

As we pass the five-year mark since the inception of our Global Health Program in June 2012, we celebrate the remarkable multidirectional growth that has transpired. We have substantially increased the number of our network participants in international training sites, developed a robust bidirectional component in support of junior faculty from our partner sites for extended capacity building experiences at WCHN, deepened the academic teaching curriculum at home and abroad, and added a significant volume of scholarly publications to expand the academic footprint of the Global Health Program.

A Marvelous Three Months

Written by Dr. Nguyễn Thị Kim Thanh, rheumatologist, Global Health Scholar from Vietnam

On a prior trip to the USA for a twelve-day vacation last year, I was impressed with stunning scenery, big roads, extraordinary skyscrapers, and large shopping malls. This time around, I was surprised by the good manners of the American people, which I could not have learned from books or the internet.

A Beacon of Hope and Light

Written by Nikolas Moring, '20

One week in Naggalama down. I can’t believe it. It seems like we just arrived here  yesterday. My first week in Uganda has been so different from what I had ever expected. I don’t even know where to begin. I spent countless nights trying to imagine what this experience was going to be, but knew from the beginning that was a fruitless exercise. Upon arriving, that was confirmed. It is simply so unique, and so different, that there was no way to even begin to project or predict what it would be like.

Reflections from Zimbabwe: Global Health in Evolution

Written by Dr. Stephen Scholand, Site Director at Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Global Health Program

I’ve been interested in global health even before it had the attention and respect this emerging field receives today. My first experiences extend back almost twenty years ago, when as a resident-in-training I happened to find myself in a city hospital in the heart of Manila. San Lazaro Hospital cared for the poor and underprivileged with a paucity of resources and medicine. It was there that I saw many heart-wrenching cases including human rabies, neonatal tetanus, rampant tuberculosis and other savage diseases. I was amazed by the passion and dedication of the doctors who worked under the most difficult conditions yet strived to do their best despite the obstacles. I could see it was truly out of love that they worked so hard. I felt deeply inspired, that this was something I wanted to do… that this was why I became a physician: to change the world, one patient at a time. Even if the odds seemed incredibly difficult, I knew in my heart that something could be done.

Good and Bad Days

Written by Andrew Pham, '20

Week five marks our transition into the regular intensive care unit (ICU) and our last two weeks in Vietnam. It’s hard to imagine that we’re almost done with our introductory foray into the world of global health. It’s even more difficult to absorb that we’ll be starting our second year of medical school in just over two weeks. It seems that I’m just beginning to get used to the way things run around here, from the early morning shifts in the hot and humid hospital departments to crossing the busy street that separate our hotel from the hospital without so much as an ounce of fear.

You Are a Saint

Written by Monica Rodgers, '20

This week started off a bit chaotic, with the uncertainty of “first day on the job” compounded on that of “first day in a new country.” In the year and a half since I last worked abroad, I had forgotten how important it is to master the art of waiting. Though at times awkward and uncertain, waiting is a meaningful way to take in surroundings, get a sense of the flow of things, observe, and ponder. On Thursday, I began my Family Medicine rotation with two residents who go to La Barquita, an underserved neighborhood of the city, to do daily consults in a small clinic. The impoverishment of this area was immediately clear to me.