Four Years Later: Cultural Understanding in Medical School

Written by Soraiya Thura '18
I’ve grown in many ways during my four years in medical school, but one of the most striking has been related to my cultural competence. When I took the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) as a first-year medical student, my results showed that I understood similarities and universal values amongst individuals, but was still working on appreciating differences. Fast forward to my fourth year, when I had an opportunity to retake the IDI.  I was stunned when I reviewed my results.

A Better Version of Ourselves: The Intercultural Development Inventory

Written by Elizabeth Lynch '21
I hate tests. And medical schools seem to love tests. So, I should not have been surprised when a test was required during orientation at the Larner College of Medicine. But a test on my cultural identity and my “cross-cultural competence?” Clearly, I was going to fail medical school before getting to orientation.

The Navajo People and Rural Medicine

Written by Eric Schmidt '18
For the month of September, I embarked on the experience of a lifetime, living and working on the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Sprawled across the four corners region of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, Arizona, encompasses an area as large as the entire state of West Virginia. Its population, however, is only about 300,000, making it extremely rural.

Patience, Creativity and Perseverance

Written by Katie Grenoble '20
The six weeks I spent with physicians and clinical officers in Uganda were a lesson in the fundamentals of medicine. In Uganda, doctors do not enjoy the luxury of being able to order any lab test they may need. Imaging is often performed off-site and rarely returned with an interpretation. Medications are purchased only if the patient can afford them, and the two EKG machines I saw seen were donated by Danbury Hospital in Connecticut.

Stand With Me: Designing a Therapeutic Standing Device for Children in Need

Written by Scott Mitchell II '20
For children with physical challenges or special mobility needs, a standing frame can be life-changing both physically and socially. These devices help children participate in daily activities – like eating dinner with family members - that may have been impossible without physical support allowing them to remain upright. The weight-bearing exercises the therapeutic frames allow often help to improve physical function, changing the quality of a child’s life over time.