Week Two at Walailak University

Written by Collin Montgomery '22


Week two really saw us begin to get down to business with Walailak University. On Monday, we toured the university campus and enjoyed a welcoming reception with the Office of International Relations, where we had the opportunity to meet  a group of French medical students, which was really nice. On Tuesday, we took part in a Problem-Based Learning exercise with Walailak medical students, which served as a fantastic review of hypersensitivity reactions and contact dermatitis! Wednesday entailed an experience in an outpatient clinic with a family medicine physician.

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We Are In This Together

Written by Irene Sue, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Class of 2022


She lies there in a corner of a ward reserved for adult female patients, clad in a beautiful red embroidered cloth, the fabric rising and falling, following the uneven rhythm of her labored breathing. Her concerned daughter looms closely nearby, next to the oxygen tank which has not seemed to help, anxiously awaiting Dr. Lenard Okello's instructions as he begins presenting the patient.

No Such Thing As Equal Opportunity

Written by Kaysha Ribao, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Class of 2020


The red dust is everywhere: on skin and clothes, in the car and the air. Despite the rain last night, today was particularly dusty as we partook in another Family Planning Outreach event. Although we started in late afternoon instead of our regular morning start time, I began to understand why.

Challenging Moments in Global Health: Navigating Cross-Cultural Boundaries

Written by Professor Harriet Mayanja, previous Dean of Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Dr. Stephen Winter, Senior Advisor for the UVMLCOM Global Health Program


From a series of discussions about challenging moments in global health, with responses from global health leaders in the Global South and Global North. Please leave us your feedback in the comments section, and send us cases you would like to see discussed.

The Gate

Written by Isaac de la Bruere, UVMLCOM Class of 2022


This poem came to me after our visit to the Phud Hong Leprosy Community near our town in Thailand. It was an incredibly powerful experience to see how its members have adapted to life within their community. All the residents are elderly, as there have been very few new cases of leprosy in the region in the last couple of decades.

This Week I Met Anthony

Written by Jose Calderon, UVMLCOM Class of 2022


This week I met Anthony. But I didn’t meet him at the hospital or clinic, but beachside as I was enjoying a cold Corona and a delicious seafood paella. Although it was August, Anthony was selling heart-shaped Valentine’s Day-themed lollipops. I saw him go to each dining table one by one, only to be rejected what seemed to be nine out of ten times.

Five Years Later

Written by Albert Trondin, Global Health Program alumni, PGY-4 in Neurosurgery in San Carlos Clinical Hospital, Madrid, Spain


My overwhelming gratitude to the Global Health Program manifests in a strong desire to “pay it forward.” The program motivated me to develop the tools needed to help others in a meaningful way. After completing my medical training and specialty in neurosurgery in Russia, I had the fortune of participating in a six-week global health elective in Uganda just before applying for a residency in 2014. The elective was a transformative, eye-opening experience.

Stepping With Light: Part I

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


Inhale, right foot, left pole. Exhale, left foot, right pole. Inhale, head up toward the universe. Heart spins contemplating each set of eyes that has looked up and surrendered to her bright love. Exhale, visible breath. Heart sinks. She holds this love faithfully each and every night despite our choice to build a world that overpowers her with artificial lights and sometimes, artificial care.

Pilgrimage to the Land of Galaxies and Glaciers: Part I

Written by Dr. Majid Sadigh, Trefz Family Endowed Chair in Global Health at WCHN and Director of the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Global Health Program


My first climb up Kilimanjaro in 2002 was driven by the memory of my father, as well as a desire to experience walking into thin air, seeing the 22,000-year-old glaciers, and appreciating the diversity of life and ecosystems on the roof of Africa. Though the inspiration behind my two most recent climbs has been to gather money and build awareness about global health issues - with last year’s hike raising funds for a microbiology lab in rural Uganda, and this year’s for the global health training of nurses - my time on the mountain is deeply personal.

A Positive Aura

Written by Jose Calderon '22


Even if I had the option of a warm shower, I wouldn’t do it. Cold showers are best given the climate here in the Dominican Republic. It’s a lovely home where we’re staying, and the best part is the host family and how welcome they make us feel. This past Sunday we attended Zoe’s (my host families’ granddaughter) fourth birthday party. It was a Beauty and the Beast theme and it was lovely. It reminded me of all the Spanish birthday parties that I’ve been to and I was glad I got to sing along as they wished her a happy birthday.