Jamie Liang had never imagined an internship program would be as rewarding, engaging and fruitful as her experience working as a global health intern at Baylor College of Medicine.
As a student of biology at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Liang was able to contribute and learn from young professionals already practicing in different spheres of public health. As an intern, she supported the grant application writing process. It was thrilling to experience for her, she said, from identifying grants to assembling all the resources needed for an application. One of her most memorable experiences was using artificial intelligence to diagnose esophageal cancer.
“Through my training at Baylor, I have had to appreciate the need for public health interventions, especially in remote communities. It is important to expand healthcare access to hard-to-reach communities, and the designated authorities ought to give this the attention it deserves,” Liang said.
Sofia Shukoor is from Karachi, Pakistan, and completed a three-month virtual internship at Baylor. Shukoor was placed into Baylor’s School of Health Professions Doctor of Nursing Practice. During her time there, she was involved in drafting the curriculum for nurses and midwives for a global health outreach trip in The Gambia.
Focusing on the topic of implementing nursing skills in low-resourced communities, Shukoor attributes her desire to learn to the plight of mothers delivering babies in remote communities in rural Gambia, as well as the need for more skills development for local healthcare providers.
The Gambia Project is an ongoing initiative established by Baylor Global Health that works to provide women living in areas with limited resources to attain necessary surgeries and other medical needs. Baylor’s Gambia Project shows that these providers are on the frontline of health interventions and require more resources for a healthier community.
During her internship, Shukoor said medical systems around the world should recognize and appreciate nursing as a noble profession as it is a primary point of contact in healthcare that saves many lives. Motivated by her mentor, she said no matter what someone is doing, it is important to acknowledge everyone’s contribution because it makes a difference.
Following her internship, Shukoor hopes to work in the hospital in her community in northern Pakistan. She believes this will be her way of contributing to the struggling health system in her hometown.
“If you have passion for your community,” she said. “The possibilities of what you can do are limitless.”
As a college sophomore, Jenny Huang is interested in sociology and has studied different aspects of social sciences in her global health class, including cultural relativism and maternal mortality. “Public health initiatives are essential in combating health epidemics and crises around the world, as well as improving health systems in different countries,” Huang said.
Through the Smart Health project and the Gambia Project, Baylor works to change the lives of many underprivileged communities and give them a chance to live healthily. “I am glad to be part of this project,” Huang said. “My supervisor during my placement encouraged me to read ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ by Tracy Kidder, a book that has since transformed my perspective on public health.”
Huang’s three-month internship included the development of obstetrics curriculum for nurses and midwives in The Gambia. Complications during childbirth require urgent tension attention, especially for doctors who work with limited resources and have little access to well-equipped facilities, she said. Her internship involved assessing student learning for nurses and midwives in the Gambia.
A Baylor Global Health Smart Pod is a transportable clinic provided by the College to areas of the world that experience challenges and limitations in accessing healthcare. Huang’s curriculum work for midwives and nurses in the Gambia included the use of Smart Pods, as well as the training to use easily-accessible tools in their hospital practice.
Huang had the opportunity to create questions for the curriculum on the neonatal process for The Gambia Project and research resources that can act as alternative equipment in resource-constrained areas. She noted that women are important in the workforce because various conflicts have left men disabled in The Gambia, and it is the women holding up the family welfare. Therefore, there is groundwork to be done especially in funding and curriculum development for Gambia’s female doctors, she said.
By Clinton Twena Tumanye, communications intern for Baylor Global Health