Dr. Mary Chang, a PGY 2 resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been selected as one 12 residents and career physicians named Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars.
The program has five established global rotation sites where its fellows will work and teach in underserved regions, and Chang will spend six weeks in Liberia starting in November. The other international sites are in South Africa, Uganda, Indonesia, and Rwanda.
“She is the first one from any Texas institution to ever have received this coveted award,” said Dr. Rohith Malya, assistant professor of emergency medicine and director of the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Division of Global Health.
“This program will broaden my experience with global health and build my knowledge in tropical medicine in a different part of the world that has pathology uncommon in the United States,” Chang said.
It was during college that Chang said she was inspired to incorporate international relief into her career, but it was traveling to the Thailand-Burma border during her elective month this past March that gave her global health experience.
“This gave me invaluable perspective on the practice of medicine in a resource-limited environment and the medical needs of a specific population,” she explained. “Because of my experiences in Thailand, I have developed a keen interest in refugee health and am considering a global health fellowship to equip me for my future work abroad.”
Chang, who completed her undergraduate degree at Rice University and her medical degree at Texas A&M Health Science Center, said she plans to return to the Thailand-Burma region.
“Tension among ethnic groups and governments in this area has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in this region over the past 50 years,” she explained. “During my time there, I was also able to build rapport with regional leaders and anticipate the future medical needs of the border areas. This rotation was generously supported by the UT-Houston Emergency Medicine residency program and would not have been possible without the efforts of our chairman Dr. Brent King, program director Dr. Samuel Luber, and global health director Dr. Rohith Malya.”
Chang said she would encourage all residents to consider participating in international work at some point in their careers.
“It is a great opportunity to expand your medical knowledge base with rare pathology, and think about improvised and alternate therapies when your hands are tied in a resource-limited environment.”