A Summer in Ho Chi Minh City: Part II

Written by Isabella Kratzer '20


In every department at Cho Ray Hospital, the doctors were kind, generous, and excited to take us out and show us their city. Meeting people's families and friends and seeing their lives beyond work added so much to our experience here and our understanding of what it is to be a doctor in Vietnam. As far as our actual experience in the hospital was concerned, I think the Emergency Department was an incredible introduction to the healthcare system.

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A Summer in Ho Chi Minh City: Part I

Written by Isabella Kratzer '20


Knowing neither what I would see in the context of the healthcare setting nor in the city itself, I had no idea what to expect from my first trip to Southeast Asia. Our drive from the airport to the Rainbow Hotel was a bit of a shock to me. I had never seen such intimidating traffic or encountered such large gatherings on the sidewalks, people perched on little plastic stools outside their shops. We got out of the van and wove through the circles of chairs, pulling our bags over the broken tiles and looking down the long street at the layers of awnings, water bottles and plastic tubs piled high beneath them. That kind of open community no longer exists in many places in the United States.

I Wish Her Nothing But Peace

Written by Andrew Pham '20


We were wrapping up our first rotation and the second week in the Emergency Department (ED) at Cho Ray Hospital. A few days prior, we had worked out an agreement with the hospital staff to come in for one evening shift. Although the ED physicians kept warning us that the shift would be incredibly hectic, I found that hard to believe given the enormous volume of patients we were seeing in the three to four hours that we were there each day. We accustomed to the scene: hospital beds constantly rotated in and out, often stacked in rows and side by side, nurses and lab technicians frantically running around, trying to get blood draws and administer medications. But none of that had prepared me for what was waiting for us that night.

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.

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.

Healthcare as Necessity

Written by Billy Tran, M.D. '17


My time at Cho Ray hospital and Vietnam over the past six weeks has been filled with discovery, both of the world and of myself. I came to Vietnam with the hope of learning about a new healthcare system and improving my Vietnamese. As someone who grew up in a large Vietnamese community, I have always wanted to return to that community and provide healthcare to those with difficulty communicating with American physicians. Thus, improving my Vietnamese and increasing my cultural awareness was a big goal for my time here. While I did improve my Vietnamese language skills, I have gained so much more in my time here.

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.

The Success of a Medical Collective

Written by Dr. Long H. Tran, J1 Scholar from Vietnam


I am grateful to have experienced and felt true American life. The organization arranged a very nice house for us close to the hospital with a nice friend from the Dominican Republic with whom we shared and exchanged our cultures. I had a warm dinner with Miss Laurie’s family for Thankgiving, a New Year party at Dr. Winter’s home, and a meeting night with international friends at Dr. Sadigh’s home. Everyone was always beside us to help, to share, and to teach. We traveled to some famous places and saw many things. I not only learned about the English language, but also about culture and communication skills, thereby gaining a greater understanding of Americans and of the United States.

Contributing a Little More Every Day

Written by Carl Nunziato '17


I would identify most of my third year of medical school as a time when I felt helpless, without any meaningful way to contribute to patient care. While I recognized that I was early in my medical education and needed time to effectively develop my clinical skills, I often felt like a burden even though the residents and attending never treated me as such.

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.