Kumusha

Written by Tendai Machingaidze, medical student studying in Russia who helped support UVMLCOM/WCHN global health participants in Zimbabwe


Having been an international student for the past seventeen years, I think about home a lot. In Shona, the concept of “kumusha” encompasses the ties that bind us to a specific portion of the earth, and the families and communities that formed us. Regardless of our physical location in the world, these roots determine who we are at our core, and who we will become.

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Entrega de Guardia

Written by Traina Assad '18


As I continue my rotation at Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, the way in which “Entrega de Guardia” is conducted sticks out to me. Entrega happens every weekday morning with all the residents and fellows in the entire hospital (over one-hundred trainees in total) and from my perspective, a combination of sign out (from night team to day team), morning report, and grand rounds. I have attended Entrega every day during my two-week rotation here, and have learned something from it each time.

The Quandry of Relaying Experience

Written by Julia Shatten '18


It has been almost two and a half months since returning from Uganda. In the midst of interviews, I work on summing up my experience into a succinct and palatable interview answer: Yes, Uganda was life-changing. Yes, I will go back. It made me view inequity differently. It helped me understand the depth of ethical nuance, and that just because something is hard does not mean we should turn our backs on it. Yes, it was a good experience.

Value in Providing for Others

Written by Dr. Bilal Khan, Pulmonary/Critical Care Specialist and Fellow in Sleep Medicine Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut


After completing my undergraduate degree in economics, I worked for J.P. Morgan Chase on the fast-track plan to Wall Street. During that time, I joined the volunteer fire department and became an Emergency Medical Technician, just as a hobby. But after a year, I noticed a striking difference between business and medicine: if you are good at something in business, you do not share that knowledge because it increases your value over your competition. But in healthcare, your value is based on what you are able to teach and provide for others, thereby improving their lives and positively impacting your community.

Ethical Dilemmas in Global Health: Bidirectional Safety

Written by Dr. Stephen Winters, and Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, Founder of the African Community Center for Social Sustainability, Nakaseke, Uganda


From a series of discussions about ethical dilemmas in global health, with responses from one global health leader in the Global South and one in the Global North. Please leave us your feedback in the comments section below, and send us ethical dilemmas you would like to see discussed.

The Ghosts of Makerere Kikoni

Written by Stefan Wheat '18


Our first week in Uganda has been marked by innumerable small adjustments, from learning to be damp most of the time to forcing our guts to wait until 10:30 PM, when dinner is typically served, to eat. However, amidst this period of transition, one of the most endearing and consistent little departures from our lives in Vermont comes on our walks home from Mulago Hospital. Every day we walk home along the same path, identifying the route that would leave us least drenched in our own sweat, and every day we are be greeted by children in our neighborhood of Makerere Kikoni. They grab at us, hold our hands, or often give us  swift pokes to the buttocks before running off giggling. We always indulged the children, oblivious to the reason behind their fascination with our skin until one of our taxi drivers told us us that young children are enthralled by bazungos (foreigners) because they grow up on stories of ghost-white spirits lurking in the forests. As white foreigners, we are likely just novelties for most of these children  but for some we are their childhood stories come to life.

Grace’s Promise

Written by Grace Herrick, Founder of Grace's Promise Incorporated


My interest in science and sustainability began long before my introduction to global health. In junior high school, a working solar updraft tower I created won awards at Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, and was subsequently featured on the local news for having captured the attention of a wide audience- most likely for its size and appearance, as it took up a sizable portion of my front yard! I continued working on sustainable energy projects through my high school career, during which I also periodically attended the Global Health Evening events.

Insights into Empathy

Written by Nikolas Moring '20


I have always seen medicine as a unique way in which to interact with one’s community. Medicine is not only about the care of patients, but also the care of patient families, friends, and the community as a whole. Medicine is the ultimate calling for me in that it provides a means of immersing myself in lifelong learning that can be turned around and given back to the community. Perhaps selfishly, medicine also allows for a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in my work. The sacrifice and selflessness, while daunting at times, harbors a particular allure as I learn to prioritize others before myself.

Ethical Dilemmas in Global Health: Assessing Student Success and Safety in Global Health Programs

Written by Dr. Stephen Winters, and Dr. Robert Kalyesubula, Founder of the African Community Center for Social Sustainability, Nakaseke, Uganda


From a series of discussions about ethical dilemmas in global health, with responses from one global health leader in the Global South and one in the Global North. Please leave us your feedback in the comments section below, and send us ethical dilemmas you would like to see discussed.

Reader Response: Allowing Ourselves Grace

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


I read a recent piece by Nikolas Moring on Global Diaries and was moved. I could sense that this young man was disappointed, not in his trip but in his decision to return to the United States. I believe there is a difference between the words "trip" and "journey." The former implies a start and end point, a series of expectations from others and oneself which one must fulfill, and ultimately a return.