Master of Public Health degree candidate
Bachelor of Arts, New York University, 2006
Medical Degree, Dartmouth College, 2010
Global surgical burden of disease and achieving sustainable surgical care in developing countries and resource poor settings within the US
What are your career goals?
I am currently in the middle of my general surgery residency in California and have dreamed about traveling internationally to resource poor settings to provide sustainable surgical care to those in need. In addition to working abroad, I would love to expand surgical care in low resource settings here at home. A large majority of my training has been at a county facility in Oakland, California, the likes of which resemble the poorest of developing worlds. I frequently staff clinics in which patients, most of which do not speak English, have waited for upwards of 10 hours to speak with a physician about their breast cancer that has gone untreated for far too long; I have been trained to run traumas on patients mostly under the age of 25, shot as victims of circumstance. My career dream is to be a general or trauma surgeon at home and abroad, working to expand surgical care to those in need and to help prevent youth violence that breeds trauma victims.
What sparked your interest in global health?
I began exploring the field of international medicine in college, traveling across the globe only to discover one thing – the global inequality of health care, existing from Oakland to Burma and everywhere in between. Witnessing the impact of socioeconomic inequalities on one’s health and one’s right to life firsthand shocked me and catalyzed a desire to do more – more than learn the techniques and skills of becoming a skilled surgeon, but to go beyond this to understand healthcare systems and how to increase access to healthcare for everyone.
How do you see yourself making a difference in public health because of the Global Health Scholarship?
The knowledge and skills necessary to expand surgical care in developing worlds and in resource poor settings extends far beyond traditional surgical training. The Global Health Scholarship has allowed me to access a different skill set that will enable me to push my career in the direction I’ve always wanted. This scholarship has welcomed me to a strong network of public health professionals and leaders who at the forefront of shaping public health in all areas of the world. With this scholarship, I will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be an active participant in decreasing the global surgical burden on disease and expanding access to healthcare.
Who inspires you and why?
Our patients. Our county hospital in Oakland houses patients who own nothing, are homeless and struggling on a daily basis. Even in their darkest hours our patients somehow fight on. Their strength, resilience, laughter and open hearts have inspired me throughout residency and will continue to do so everyday. The patients I have encountered have taught me compassion, humility, courage and have always given me a reason to push even harder.