Noticeably Absent

Written by Erin Pichiotino, M.P.H., '17

Orthopedic Trauma rounds are every Monday morning. We visit each and every patient, take down dressings to look at wounds, review x-rays, and as a team come up with a plan for the week. Other than that, the orthopedic officers and nurses are responsible for following the plan, performing wound care, administering antibiotics and otherwise managing the patient, consulting the surgeons if and when necessary for proper patient care. The day-to-day needs of the patient including procuring implants and medications, bathing, feeding, and physical therapy if needed are taken care of by the caretaker, friends and family members who come to the hospital to help. Most of these caretakers sleep outside the hospital on the concrete, washing and cooking in the open space between wards.

Outrage As Impact

Written by Sarah King, '17

I’ve been home now for just over a week. I was so excited to come home to see my friends and family and perhaps most of all my two dogs, that the realization that I am home didn’t sink until I had been home for a couple of days. I feel sad that I was not able to help more, that I am able to fly across the world back home to my comfy bed, my healthy family and friends, my car. I feel guilty realizing just how very privileged and lucky I am. We give my one of my 14 year old dogs a medication for her painful arthritis that many patients in Zimbabwe could not even afford. I’ve been struggling with feeling despair about the lives and suffering of so many people, of such profound poverty.

A Bridge Connecting Two Beautiful Islands

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

Excerpt from a panel entitled "Building ethical and effective partnerships between institutions in LICs and HMICs" at the 2017 Consortium of Universities for Global Health Conference.
Forming and sustaining equitable partnerships with international colleagues is a challenging endeavor. It requires passion, leadership, transparency, cultural sensitivity, friendship, and endurance. All the time and effort spent is an investment toward something valuable, and mistakes and miscommunication are unavoidable. Pain is an inherent part of any growth process.


Written by Mitra Sadigh, UVM post-baccalaureate student in pre-medical studies

“Jebaleko, Nyabo.” “Kale, Jebaleko Ssebo,” I respond to the jolly man standing to my left behind the emblematic blue-against-lemon-yellow MTN stand where we are both waiting to buy airtime, something I seem chronically depleted of these days, an affliction with my lazy 1000-shillings airtime purchases the likely culprit. A surprised smile conquers his face, eyes shining with perfectly aligned teeth.


Written by Imelda Muller, '17

Tiny shadow forms topple over each other, Crowding around the man and the truck. Rising in swells, Moving toward the wall where he is pinned. Falling smoothly in concert. As the truck teeters on the ledge. The weight of their jostling vibrations, Abrasively declare his fate, and Travel up my arms as the front lens spins in my fingers.

Al final del día el cuidado del paciente es lo más importante

Written by Jessica Huang, '17

The long line of patients waiting outside the hospital as soldiers guard the entrance, the prayers beginning each morning report, the sharing of patient beds/cribs, and the lack of running water … these are some of the things that stood out to me when I first arrived at Hospital Maternidad Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia (HUMNSA). Everything seemed foreign as I tried to learn the workflow and how to integrate into a medical team in a new country and medical system. However, as my ears acclimated to new medical terms while rounding in a different language, my first impressions developed into a realization of the importance of religion in the Dominican Republic as well as the limited resources and high volume of patients at this public hospital. Inside the walls of this institution, work and teaching truly prioritize patient care.

Olumwa: The Dangers of Complacency in Global Health

Written by Janel Martir, '16, recipient of an honorable mention for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Essay Contest

“Olumwa?” I asked in my best impersonation of a Lugandan accent. My patient pointed to her belly. She looked as if she had swallowed the moon. She was writhing uncomfortably on her bed in the maternity triage laying on the single sheet of black plastic. I scanned the room one more time to look for any physicians. The interns, called junior officers, were on strike. They had not been paid in 5 months so the strike was a drastic measure to confront the unfairness of their plight. The residents, called senior officers, were taking exams and were studying in the small hallways in Makerere University quizzing each other on clinical technique and treatments.

Global Health Electives Provide Lessons in Patient Advocacy, Health Equity, Humility

Written by Dr. Majid Sadigh, Trefz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health at Western Connecticut Health Network and Director of the Global Health Program at UVM Larner College of Medicine, and Mitra Sadigh, post baccalaureate student in pre-medical studies

For many medical students, training in a resource-limited setting is their first exposure to the way most of the world lives, where nylon gloves are used in place of catheters, where the number of radiation machines in a nation can be counted on one hand, where a bed shortage might mean patients sleep on the floor. Working in this environment requires self-awareness, strength, and humility to accept and then overcome challenges to one’s way of being, thinking, and perceiving the world.

Beyond Medicine: The Value of a Global Health Experience

Written by Billy Tran, '17

I believe the value of a global health experience is more than in learning medicine.At the level of a medical student it is a challenge to make any significant contribution to medical care. We are lost enough in hospitals in the United States, and . the addition of a language barrier makes it more difficult to learn and assist. The real value of a global health experience is in seeing and living in a completely different culture and healthcare system. Opening our eyes and expanding our perspective on how people live in a different country aids in our development both personally and professionally.

Closed Doors Have Opened Others: Part II

Written by Katrin Sadigh, MD, WCHN assigned faculty for program development at Zimbabwe University

On Thursday morning, we attended the weekly Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) Clinic. This clinic specializes in the care of patients with this vascular tumor, with epidemic (HIV-related) and endemic (non HIV-related) the most common types seen in this patient population. We worked first with the senior housestaff member and then with the attending. Roughly forty patients are seen in this clinic weekly, though previously, the numbers averaged between sixty and eighty. Many patients are followed over several years, and return for follow up of quiescent disease. Others are referred from outside clinics and hospitals for initial evaluation and subsequent management of KS. Others are simply sick and complex, sent by their physicians with accompanying letters, asking for assistance.