Medical student Waldo Zamor delivers grand rounds on unfamiliar tropical disease

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

November 18, 2015
  Aspiring dermatologist Waldo Zamor, SOM’16 (right), is pictured with Joel Popkin, MD, who invited Zamor to deliver a presentation on yaws.
 

Aspiring dermatologist Waldo Zamor, SOM’16 (right), is pictured with Joel Popkin, MD, who invited Zamor to deliver a presentation on yaws. 

UMass Medical School student Waldo Zamor was honored to become the first medical student to present a Medicine Grand Rounds at St. Vincent Hospital in the hospital’s history. Zamor was invited by Joel Popkin, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, who practices at St. Vincent. The topic of the Nov. 5 presentation was yaws, a highly infectious tropical disease endemic to several countries, including Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Papua New Guinea.

Zamor’s study of yaws was prompted by a case of a patient with an unusual rash he worked on while volunteering at St. Anne’s Free Clinic in Shrewsbury.

“The case was significant because we rarely see yaws in this part of the world,” said Zamor.

The patient, who had recently arrived in the United States from Ghana, presented with a full body rash that erupted over two days. In consultation with dermatologist Dori Goldberg, MD, assistant professor of medicine, and infectious disease expert Anthony Esposito, MD, professor of medicine, the diagnosis of yaws was made and the patient was successfully treated with antibiotics.

Zamor’s presentation was timely as yaws is a disease local health care providers may encounter more often as Worcester’s significant West African population, mainly from Ghana, grows. Globally, The World Health Organization has launched efforts to eradicate the disease.

“As a budding dermatologist, this case piqued my interest,” he said. “My presentation emphasized the importance of a dermatological skin examination, knowledge of epidemiology and ‎multidisciplinary collaboration.”

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