Menu Icon Search
Close Search

Global Health Scholars Program

Created January 9, 2013 by Catherine Nicka
Share



In 2008, the first set of medical students at the Penn State College of Medicine began the longitudinal global health effort called the Global Health Scholars Program (GHSP). The program aims to educate students about global health and allows them to have hands on experience in a foreign country. The first set of Global Health Scholars has graduated and moved on to residency programs. I was able to catch up with Sean Boley (SB) and Todd Schneberk (TS), two graduates of the GHSP who went to San Pablo, Ecuador, to ask them how participation in the GHSP has affected them.

Where are you practicing and what specialty did you choose?

SB: I am in St Paul, MN at Regions Hospital doing Emergency Medicine.

TS: I am in Los Angeles County at the University of Southern California Medical Center doing Emergency Medicine.

How did the GHSP affect you as an individual?

SB: The program helped me on a few fronts. First, it definitely made me aware of various issues in global health including the problems with medical tourism, HIV/AIDs in the developing world, tons of things related to health systems development. It also helped me to put the medicine I was learning in Hershey into perspective as well as helped me to learn about how medicine is practiced in resource poor areas (and how to perhaps, bring some of those creative techniques back here).

TS: I think it taught me an immense amount about the actual practice of global health work. The idea of global health is often romanticized into something it isn’t. The only way to understand how it really functions is to try to assess the needs of a community and then work to address them working with the resources allotted. It is a difficult science and finding ways to sustainably better the health of a community takes painstaking work and affords a substantial amount of reverence for guys like Drs. Groh and Fredrick who pull it off with such style.

Did the GHSP influence your career choice?

SB: GHSP definitely got me excited to look towards a specialty that was broad enough that I could be useful in a resource poor area. There are few specialties out there that enable you to see undifferentiated patients, work them up, and then treat them. Emergency allows for that and encourages this one-stop-shop feel that places without doctors or hospitals really need.

TS: It made me realize that in order to pursue careers in global health it helps to have a skill set that can be transferable and useful in under-served settings, as well as a schedule and patient base that doesn’t restrict you from spending time away in these places. From an emergency specific standpoint, I think as gatekeepers, the ER will have a pivotal role in innovative distribution of care for the under-served.

Are you planning on practicing global health in the future?
SB: I would love to practice global health in the future. It all depends on what opportunities are available to me when I graduate. There are some global health fellowships (including one at my current program) that would allow for it.

TS: Yes

Do you think that your participation in the GHSP affected your match and is it something that came up during interviews?

SB: My experience with GHSP definitely helped me get into residency. It was brought up at every interview. People always wanted to talk about it and were very interested in the project as it involved research, project development, broadening perspectives (i.e., getting out of the hospital), a volunteer aspect, etc. Programs love stuff like that. I think it showed them a lot about what I was interested in and committed to.

TS: My choice was undoubtedly affected. Looking at it realistically, I realized the maximum amount of time I could spend doing global health projects in residency was probably around 6 months. Therefore, I decided I wanted a program where I didn’t necessarily have to travel to see the types of patients I would see in the developing world. As for how it affected how I matched/interviews, I think it was instrumental in my success. It was the focal point of most of my conversations with my interviewers. This program is novel in the autonomy and ownership it allows students in community assessment and application of their OWN intervention. Not only that, but it is one of the only programs that has a built in longitudinal aspect, where the students can engender trust with the population as well as establish a presence in order augment sustainability. Several faculty at multiple programs mentioned they would like to emulate many parts of the GHSP model and said if I attend their residency they would like me to help enrich their programs.

// Share //

// Recent Articles //

short coat logo 2015 with title
  • The Short Coat Podcast: How Residents Cope and the Costs of America’s Most Violent Sport

  • Posted February 5, 2016 by The Short Coat Podcast
  • On The Short Coat Podcast, medical students from the University of Iowa and their co-host Dave Etler discuss news, fresh views, helpful clues and interviews. Hear new episodes on iTunes and the Short Coat Podcast website every Thursday, republished Fridays on the Student Doctor Network.  What can medical students and residents do to keep their chins up during their training? That’s...VIEW >
IOTW-SDN small
  • Figure 1 Image of the Week: IVC Filters

  • Posted February 5, 2016 by Figure 1
  • IVC filters isolate a pre-existing deep vein thrombosis preventing the development of a pulmonary embolism. Common indications include cases where anticoagulation is contraindicated or a thrombus has formed despite anticoagulation. They are inserted via a jugular or femoral approach, often under ultrasound or fluoroscopy guidance, and may be temporary or permanent. See this image and more...VIEW >
20160204_Study_SS_101701741
20160203_Diabetic_SS_107479556
  • What You Should Know: Encouraging Compliance in Diabetic Patients

  • Posted February 3, 2016 by Brian Wu
  • Diabetes has been called a “pandemic” for good reason. In the United States alone, it is estimated that around 28.1 million people have this condition–and around 7 million of them don’t even know it. Among those who have been diagnosed, compliance to a plan of care can literally be a 50/50 proposition–in other words, it...VIEW >
20160202_predentallweek
  • A Timeline For Your Ultimate Predental Experience

  • Posted February 2, 2016 by Christina Crisologo
  • This article originally ran on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off, on Dec. 2, 2015. ASDA encourages all predentals to join us in celebrating Predental Week 2016 Feb. 21-27 and becoming a member of the association.  Yesterday was dental school acceptance day – the first day that dental schools start extending offers. If you aren’t quite at the point where you’re...VIEW >
20160201_Quit_150233483
  • What You Should Know: Student Doctors and Smoking Cessation Education

  • Posted February 1, 2016 by Brian Wu
  • What You Should Know is an ongoing series covering a range of informational topics relevant to current and future healthcare professionals. When it comes to smoking cessation, the stakes couldn’t be higher: tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and claims the lives of 400,000 Americans every single year....VIEW >

// Forums //