College Hosts Global Health Presentations
- By Erin Post
On December 4 at the UVM College of Medicine, second-year UVM medical student Tamar Goldberg showed photos of her trek down a dusty dirt road in Uganda, delivering ultrasound machines to rural clinics and training health care workers on how to use them. Allison Arwady, M.D., Primary Care Chief Resident, Yale University, read an article she wrote titled “Collaterals,” published in JAMA, about her experience treating a young mother at Mulago Hospital, also in Uganda. William Fabricius, M.D., Internal Medicine Chief Resident at St. Mary’s Hospital, talked about the insights he gained through seeing patients in Kazan, Russia.
They were all speakers for the second part of a Global Health Series presented by the College and Danbury Hospital. Students, faculty and staff from the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Fletcher Allen Health Care attended the evening talk in the Sullivan Classroom. Additional presenters included John Curtis, editor of Yale Medicine, who showed a photo essay on a village in Uganda that is known as the birthplace of the AIDS epidemic; Maya Golts, a medical student from Kazan who talked about her experience in Uganda, and Mary Streeter, M.S., a clinical instructor of radiology at UVM who traveled to Uganda for the Imaging the World initiative.
Majid Sadigh, M.D., Director of Global Health at Danbury Hospital/Western Connecticut Health Network, discussed existing partnerships and programs in development, including a global health elective. In addition to an exchange program with Kazan State Medical University in Russia, students and residents have the opportunity to study at Makarere University School of Medicine in Kampala, Uganda. Opportunities in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic and Liberia are also in the works. As a clinical affiliate of the College of Medicine, Danbury Hospital and its global health initiatives are providing new opportunities for students and residents. Sadigh argued that students are in a place to effect changes to how health care is delivered globally.
“The soul and the energy of an institution are in the hands of the medical students,” he said.
While in Kazan for a clinical elective, Fabricius learned that interacting with Russian patients required different skills than the U.S., and in some cases carried different expectations. “It gave me an awareness of the social and cultural aspects of health care,” he said.
Golts, who visited Uganda in 2011, experienced first-hand the health disparities that exist between regions of the world, but said it’s important to focus on how small actions can add up to larger change. “You just continue on this work…you can make it better,” she said.
The same attitude prevails for students and medical professionals involved with Imaging the World, an initiative that brings ultrasound machines and training to areas of Uganda and potentially other countries in the future. The focus is on improving maternal/fetal health and creating a sustainable model for training the workforce.
“It’s very exciting to be part of this new model for global health,” Goldberg said.