New Delhi, India Summer 2016

All the above photos belong to Stephen Yu

Public health delivery innovations and community medicine

Student: Stephen Yu

UMB medical student, Stephen Yu, traveled to New Delhi, India to join an interprofessional group of health students as part of a public health program led by Child Family Health International. The program works closely with non-government organizations to provide the students with an in-depth look at the public health challenges in New Delhi and how to implement reforms that improve the city's public health outcomes. Stephen was engaged in discussing issues around safe drinking water, sanitation and waste management, linkage to care and treatment for those diagnosed with HIV and other infectious diseases especially in higher risk groups (e.g. truckers, men who have sex with men, IV drug users, and female sex workers), and women’s health promotion. He returned to the U.S. not only with an awareness about the barriers to health care in India but also a heightened sensitivity about the barriers to care that residents in Baltimore face. He experienced the concrete connection between having an understanding of broader public health issues and developing into a more effective clinician for serving patients.

"On our visits to the NGOs, we met representatives that practiced medicine and volunteered their time to help those in need. One particular physician, Dr. Singh, who is an Ob/Gyn by training, volunteered her time at the HIV drop-in center near a hot zone for IV drug users. She engaged our student group in a conversation about the medical problems that she faces in treating IV drug users and the societal “unspoken laws” which corners people who in one way or another become dependent on IV drug use. She explained that IV drug users may require medical attention for either detoxification or severe physical/mental/systemic health concerns, but often times they are pushed out from the community and banished to areas where living conditions are unfavorable. Dr. Singh clearly wanted to help her patients who were IV drug users, and felt privileged to be a health care professional who had the knowledge and was capable to help those who accepted her help. Dr. Singh encouraged our student group to do the same and to keep in mind that at the core of medicine is not treating/curing a disease, but rather it is helping those in need and promoting the health of people and thus the larger community."