November 07, 2018

Eight medical students awarded scholarships to expand their horizons through study abroad in Africa and South America

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Earlier this year, fourth-year medical students had the opportunity to submit proposals for potential study trips to underserved communities around the globe. Of those applicants, eight students received study abroad scholarships from UAB’s International Medical Education (UAB IME). One student will head south to complete a clinical elective in Peru and the others will head to Africa. Three will be studying in Kenya, and a group of four will complete their global service learning experience in Zambia. The students awarded and selected for these programs are:

• Catherine Brown – Kijabe, Kenya
• Claire Cordes – Kijabe, Kenya
• Amelia Schuyler – Kijabe, Kenya
• David Osula – Trujillo, Peru
• Mellissa Parrish – Choma, Zambia
• Kendall Snellgrove – Choma, Zambia
• John Snellgrove – Choma, Zambia
• Amanda Alldredge – Kasempa, Zambia

UAB International Medical Education’s mission is to advance education for medical students through global service learning. It serves that purpose by developing, coordinating and financially supporting educational clinical programs for UAB medical students who wish to participate in international clinical electives.

Previously, UAB IME developed and funded over $60,000 in scholarships for UAB medicals students to study abroad in Nicaragua, Cameroon, Peru and Taiwan. This year UAB IME will add the Dominican Republic to the list of study abroad opportunities for UAB medical students.

“One can never underestimate the value and importance of cross-cultural learning, especially in the medical field.” said Majd Zayzafoon, M.D., Ph.D. assistant dean for International Medical Education. “UAB IME recognizes that the opportunities our future physicians experience abroad will forever impact their lives and make a difference in our global community. We encourage other medical students to apply for future scholarship support.”

image002Catherine Brown (pictured on the left) is one of three students headed to work in pediatrics at Kijabe Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya, with Arianna Shirk, M.D., who is an alum of the UAB Pediatrics program. Kijabe Hospital is a 340-bed, non-profit facility. The students’ schedule will include rounding in the mornings, carrying up to 4 patients of their own and contributing to bronchiolitis clinical practice guidelines research. “As someone who wants to work abroad in medicine in the future, I'm so thankful to get to experience both clinical medicine and research in a resource-limited setting under the guidance of Dr. Shirk,” said Brown.

image001David Osula will embark on a 4-week experience in Trujillo, Peru, at Hospital de Alta Complejidad. For four days of the week, he will work closely with the infectious disease physician—participating in rounds, treatments and examinations. On Fridays, he will participate in Community Health Campaigns. These weekly health fairs give patients the opportunity to receive medical examinations and treatment on a free, first-come first-served basis. “I’m excited that I’ll get both inpatient and primary care medical experience while being immersed in the Spanish language and culture. I’ll have the opportunity to work with underserved populations, get excellent clinical exposure, improve my Spanish language proficiency and engage in a completely new healthcare system and culture,” said Osula.