Twenty-seven members of the School of Medicine’s Class of 2015 traveled all over the world this summer to learn about international medical care on a very personal level. Some visited countries completely unfamiliar to them, while others returned home to countries they left as children. A few conducted research while others shadowed health care professionals or served in local health care clinics.
The second-year students presented posters detailing their global adventures on Monday, Aug. 20, in the Faculty Conference Room. Also presenting posters were students in the Summer Service-Learning Assistantship Program, who conducted service learning projects domestically.
Some of those presenting international posters were participants in the Pathway on Serving Multicultural and Underserved Populations elective, a course designed to help students develop linguistic and cultural competence and sensitivity to the hardships that many immigrants and poor people face. As part of the program, they received a stipend to help with travel and living costs.
Jeremy Konstam said he had an “incredible experience” during his four weeks in Ecuador, where he lived with a local family, took language classes, volunteered to teach English at a local school and observed at a family health clinic. “It was interesting to see how health care is delivered in a low resource setting,” he said, noting he was impressed with the skill of the local doctors and the overall continuity of care.
Azmin Kahramin traveled to his native Bosnia, from which he emigrated as a teenager during the country’s civil war. He shadowed professionals in the clinic, the lab and diagnostic areas. Mental health issues relating to war trauma are common in the country, a particular area of interest for Kahramin. The Greater Boston area is home to 12,000 fellow Bosnians and he hopes to reach out to this community as a medical professional.
Rebecca Lumsden was one of three UMass Medical School students in Kenya focused on research projects under the direction of Ann Moormann, PhD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics and quantitative health sciences. Lumsden studied the social and public health barriers to measles vaccination in the area by interviewing providers, studying hospital records and observing clinical procedures. She said it was a good start on a possible longitudinal project that would culminate in a capstone research project in her fourth year.
Dien Le worked on his language skills, especially medical terminology, during his five weeks at the Di An Hospital in a rural section of Vietnam. Le said medicine considered non-traditional in Western cultures, such as the use of herbs or acupuncture, is much more common in Vietnam, and he had to be sure to ask his patients about the use of these techniques as he interviewed them.
Other students traveled to Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, Albania, Tanzania and China, among other countries. The complete list of posters presented follows:
2012 Global Medical Education Poster Fair
Matthew Baron: Substance Abuse Education in Rural El Salvador
Geoffrey Buckle: Burkitt’s Lymphoma in Western Kenya and Uganda
Josh Kahane: Life in the Ecuadorian Rainforest: Farming, Education and Health
Diana Thyssen: A Look into Argentine Health Care: Hospital Universitario Fundación Favaloro
Sharon Li: An Exchange Experience at Huaxi Hospital, Chengdu, China
Amanda Gonsalves, Elise Sullivan, Kyle Wu: Clinical, Cultural, Language Immersion, Costa Rica
Emily McCoy: Volunteering at an Orphanage and Clinic in Tanzania
Carolyn Buckley: Unidad de San Patronato del Sur: Public Hospital in Quito, Ecuador
Dylan Perry: Medical Spanish and Community Health Care in San Vito, Costa Rica
Mackenzie Bartlett: India: Introduction to Traditional Medicine and Himalayan Health Exchange
Eric Evan-Browning : Spanish Immersion in Quetzaltenango (“Xela”), Guatemala
Dien Le: Di An Hospital, Vietnam
Ava Chappell and Joseph Frey: Public and Rural Health in Leon, Nicaragua
Azmin Kahramin: Observational Rotation at the General Hospital “Prim dr abdulah Nakas”
Paavan Mehta: Health Care Delivery in Ahmedabad, India
Lauren Veit: Language and Cultural Immersion in Quito, Ecuador
Prachi Godiwala: Interhealth South America: Health and Service in Ecuador
Lorena Ceci and Laert Rusha: Albania: Discovering Albania’s Health Care
Jonathan Barry: Community Health Research and Clinical Medicine in Vellore, India
Caleb Dresser: Primary Care in Rural Madagascar
Alyssa Goldberg: Plasmodium Falciparum Infections in Kisumi, Kenya
Jeremy Konstam: Family Health and Medical Spanish in Quito, Ecuador
Lynne Fiore, Amos Lichtman, Keri Nobil: Rivas County Renal Failure Study
Brendan Flanagan: Clinical Work in Guatemala
Reem Abu-Libdeh: San Pedro La Laguna/Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala: Health, Culture and Language
Josiah Bote: Spanish School and Cultural Immersion in Leon, Nicaragua
Rebecca Lumsden: Barriers and Challenges to Measles Elimination.
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Students share stories of summer adventures