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.

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Culture As Construct: Looking Forward to a Global Health Elective in Vietnam

Written by Elizabeth O'Neill, '20


Our view of culture is essentially a construct that differs both within and among communities, as its manifestation in traditions and customs impacts people in varied ways. I chose to attend the UVM Larner College of Medicine largely because I believe in the institution’s mission and vision to promote high-value, inclusive care to people of all cultures, both locally and globally. Direct experience with clinical practice embedded within different societies is necessary to develop into a socially responsible, culturally competent physician - qualities I strive to embody as a medical student and beyond.

Witness, Advocate, Exchange, Improve

Written by Anne Dougherty, MD, Assistant Professor at UVM Robert Larner, MD College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and founder and director of the UVM Global Women’s Health Education Program


On a whiteboard in my office, I have written the words: witness, advocate, exchange and improve. These are my pillars of global health. Witness, don’t rescue. Advocate, for a diversity of backgrounds. Exchange, sustainably and equitably. Improve, building appropriate technology and capacity. These core concepts may seem obvious, but they require training in global health ethics and the realities of on-the-ground work in low-resource settings.