The Power of Continuity: Reflections from the Safety Net

StudentSpeak is pleased to present this guest post by Sylvia Peterson-Perry, MS3 who is dually-enrolled in the M.D. and MPH programs.  I first met John* while on my 3rd year inpatient internal medicine rotation at OHSU. He came in to the hospital for a swollen, painful left leg, was a current active IV heroin user, was homeless, and had no possessions but the dirty clothes he was wearing. He ate the hospital food more eagerly … Read More

Assessing maternal health in Ethiopia

StudentSpeak is pleased to share this guest post from Elena Phoutrides, MS2, a student in the joint M.D./M.P.H. program. Elena is working abroad this summer in Tigray, Ethiopia thanks in part to the R. Bradley Sack International Scholarship and the OHSU Global Health Center. It’s mid-morning: somewhat watery sunlight lighting up the bougainvillea, the appealing smell of fresh-roasted coffee in the air. Just about time for a coffee break here in Mekelle town in Tigray, Ethiopia. … Read More

Alii from Koror, Palau!

  After frantically packing, unpacking, and repacking my bags (50 pounds is really quite limiting), I jetted out of the U.S. of A. on the Monday after our MS1 finals to embark on my lengthy journey across the globe (literally) to the Republic of Palau for the summer. After a whole day of traveling, I arrived safely, got settled into Koror, and began work at the Health Policy, Research, and Development office (HPRD) of the Ministry … Read More

Think globally, act locally

I was lucky to have the opportunity to travel and work on a global health project in Ethiopia this summer, but now that getting back to medical school means no more time to work internationally, I want to stay connected with the issues I encountered abroad and keep thinking about how students and universities can engage in global health. On Thursday, October 13th, the OHSU Global Health Center is hosting a Global Health Fair in … Read More

Ethiopia photo journal

Here are a few snapshots of my life in Gimbie. A foreigner toting around a camera creates quite the spectacle in town, but I wanted to try and capture a bit of my day-to-day experience: the people and places I saw on my daily walk through town, the types of clinics I visited for my research project, and the verdant countryside that nestles Gimbie between steep hills and valleys. I think that sometimes developing countries, … Read More

Report from Ethiopia: Expect the unexpected

My charge this summer was to learn about local health care capacity with regard to pregnancy and delivery—pretty broad goals, but Dr. Nardos and I decided to try to administer two surveys: one for formal health care providers working at clinics, and one for midwives and other lay providers I happen to meet in the community.  The surveys basically ask what these people do on a regular basis, how they handle certain prenatal and obstetric … Read More

The other side of dengue surveillance: the fumigators

Since arriving in Venezuela, I have caught a glimpse into the realm of environmental health and the steps to control the carrier of the dengue virus.  It’s been great applying all that I’ve been learning from the epidemiology and more clinical side of the cases. Recently, I was at the Environmental Health Department—which is a regional entity—and witnessed their operations on a bit of a broader scale, including how the department receives information for the … Read More

“Fayaada” from Ethiopia!

Fayaada! (that’s the beginning of a greeting in Oromifa, and one of the most useful words I’ve picked up)  I’m sad to say that sending updates from the past few weeks was a bit futile, because Gimbie was without internet for the vast majority of my stay there.  In a way it was nice—I’ve read more novels in five weeks than I had my entire first year of medical school—but it’s nice to be back … Read More

My internship in Venezuela has begun

One of the requirements for the MD/MPH program at OHSU is a public health internship. So after a few months of communicating with Profesora Mirna, the epidemiologist whom I am working with in Venezuela, applying for various grants, and going through the necessary steps, the first day of my internship officially began. My main project is to evaluate the current epidemiologic surveillance system for dengue  (See my explanation of dengue at the end of this … Read More

En Route to Ethiopia!

I’m flying out in about 14 hours to New York, then Istanbul, then Addis Ababa to do research on maternal health in Ethiopia this summer. The last four weeks of medical school were quite a grind and I’ve barely recovered from our final exam, so it certainly hasn’t hit me yet that I’ll be spending the next few weeks on my own in a completely new culture. I’ve been looking forward to this project for … Read More



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