Wishing You All Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year

Written by Sister Jane Frances, Director of St. Francis Naggalama Hospital


St. Francis Naggalama Hospital is honored to be an esteemed partner of the UVMLCOM/WCHN Global Health Program family. Through this partnership, we have felt a burning flame of hope and love as Climb For a Cause raised funds for the Microbiology Unit at Naggalama Hospital. This fundraising effort has not only elevated our facility from national to international recognition, but has also deeply touched our hearts.

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Learning from Commonalities and Differences

Written by Dr. Rafael Khalitov, Global Health Scholar from Russia


The differences among healthcare systems around the world is a common topic for observation and research. Several studies have compared the healthcare system in Russia with those in Western countries. Though traditionally ascribed to varying access to resources and technology, differences in healthcare systems are heavily impacted by culture that can define many aspects of health, including disease manifestation, illness perception, treatment receptivity, and level of social support that is often vital for recovery.

Just a Medical Rotation? Think again! – Part II

Written by Jamidah Nakato, Assistant Lecturer at Makerere University


The Global Health Office once hosted a participant who had difficulty attending the first few clinical and cultural activities because of a physical disability. In the middle of the first week, the office scheduled a cultural excursion to a local witch doctor. Participants were given a background of witch doctors, including how they are perceived, why their services are sought, and what their contribution is to traditional medicine.

Graduation: Part IV

Written by Dr. Judith Lewis, Director of the Psychiatry Residency Training Program at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine


The residents were another bright spot to my visit. I met with a dozen of them, and their chatter reminded me of the camaraderie of our own resident group. We had an hour-long discussion about the similarities and differences between our two healthcare systems, them agape at the autonomy and legal rights of our patients to refuse treatment and me agape at their high patient volumes and moonlighting hours needed to “find money” to support themselves.

Looking Back While Moving Forward

Written by Tendai Machingaidze, Associate Site Director for University of Zimbabwe


The field of global health has indeed come a long way. During Family Medicine Grand Rounds on October 29, 2018, Dr. Pierce Gardner took us on a journey from the indistinct beginnings of global health to where it is today. In his presentation on “Academia and Global Health: Benefits and Ethics,” Dr. Gardner highlighted how the driving force for global health work has changed across the decades. Be it out of humanitarian concerns, self-interest, economics, or scientific advancement, men and women across history have sought to cross the geographical and cultural divides that separate us, in order to bring healing to those most in need of it.

Just a Medical Rotation? Think again!: Part I

Written by Jamidah Nakato, Assistant Lecturer at Makerere University


Usually when I go home, tired and worn out after a long day, I sit on the living room sofa and switch on the television. At that moment, I feel entitled to watch a movie because it is guaranteed to take my mind off the usual things and onto something else. This particular night, the movie playing was “Eat, Pray, Love” in which a woman, played by Julia Roberts, leaves her comfortable life in America after a divorce in an effort to rediscover herself. She travels to India, Italy, and Bali, where she tries to get involved in a number of cultural activities. Midway through the movie, I had a feeling of deja vu! Where had I seen something like this? I realized this situation was reminiscent of many student experiences in global health programs. 

Frameworks for the Future

Written by Tendai Machingaidze, Associate Site Director for University of Zimbabwe


The world is becoming smaller and smaller every day. A clichéd saying perhaps, but acutely true when it comes to healthcare. Countries, cultures, and communities are increasingly intertwined via travel and migration. The burden of disease in one country can, in a matter of hours, become the burden of disease in a country on the opposite side of the world. As such, developing sustainable local medical practices around the world is ever more critical as we seek to promote healthy lives for all people.

The World of Global Health

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


Imagine this scenario: A tertiary city hospital with 1500 beds and over 3000 patients and annual admission of 180,000. One-third of these patients die during their hospitalization, and 30% within two months after returning home. That equates to 100,000 people who die each year - the equivalent of a New England town that is annually erased from the surface of the earth.

“There Is a Force Within That Gives You Life” -Rumi

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


I was raised in a small mountainous village in southern Iran, a land of poor but kind and generous inhabitants. I was one of very few children who had the privilege of a warm and supportive family. It was in this setting that I became familiar with the lives of underprivileged, gentle souls. Rumi became my idol as I searched for meaning beyond simple “happiness” throughout my youth. Voicing the unvoiced gave meaning to my life. I dreamed of becoming a storyteller who narrates the tales of those who cannot tell their own.

Changing Course: Part I

Written by Dr. Patrick Zimmerman, surgery resident at Danbury Hospital


My arrival at a career in surgery was circuitous, to say the least. I studied Spanish and foreign relations in college and had planned a career as a jurist or with the foreign service. As I progressed further down that path, I discovered that I didn’t like the version of myself I saw emerging. I feared the person I might become in twenty years if I continued on the path of law or government. I made the difficult decision to change course, and have always been glad I did.