APAMSA Global Health March Spotlight

Here is our first APAMSA Global Health Spotlight. For the month of March, we would like to feature our member, Taman Hoang, and her experiences with global health.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Tâm An Thị Hoàng, although I go by Taman. I was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated to the United States when I was four years old. I grew up with two distinctively different cultures: Vietnamese and American. Though my mother did incorporate some “American” ideas into my upbringing, she always insisted that I remain true to my roots. It was for that reason that I went back to Vietnam in my teenage years to volunteer and to explore my origins. My travels to Vietnam inspired other trips to different parts of the world, from Panama to Nepal and sparked my interest in global health. After I graduated from UC Berkeley, I then pursued an MS in Global Medicine at USC where I was given the chance to go abroad to Panama and work in acute primary care clinics for the indigenous populations there. Shortly after, I was accepted into UC Davis School of Medicine. Before I began medical school, I had the honor of being accepted into the 2015 Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Ministry (GSMDM) cohort and was able to revisit my homeland. I felt I had come full circle, because it was one of my initial trips to Vietnam that drove my desire to go into medicine. I am currently a second year medical student at UCDSOM and have continued my love for global medicine by being on the Nepal 2016 team that journeyed to Kathmandu and some of the remote mountainous villages of Nepal last June.

Can you tell us more about your experience in Cao Bang, Vietnam? How did you find out about this opportunity?
Word of mouth was how I came to join the 2015 GSMDM group. A good friend of mine, Donna Tran, did a GSMDM mission a few years back, and it was through her encouragement and amazing stories that spurred me to apply.

How were you able to fund your trip?
At the time that I applied and accepted into the cohort, I had several tutoring jobs. I worked during the week and many weekends, while scheduling around our fundraisers for the mission. While it was a challenge to save money for the trip and pay my current living expenses, being able to fund myself taught me a lot about time management and how to be just a bit more frugal with my spending.

What was one specific experience during your trip that really stuck with you?
I was in Cao Bang, Vietnam when I met Linh with her bright yellow t-shirt, and her brighter smile. Cao Bang is a northern region of Vietnam that is isolated by mountains. Like many other rural regions of Vietnam, there was a severe shortage of doctors in the area. I had been taking patient histories for GSMDM (Good Samaritan Medical and Dental Ministry) when she entered our mobile clinic and took her turn in the seat across from me. She was twenty-four years old, and blind. Linh had wanted to be a teacher before she lost her sight due to a brain tumor that was removed too late. During our patient interview, I remarked that she had a lovely smile. “Thank you. I believe that my smile reflects how I’ve chosen to look at life,” was her response. Patients like Linh are the reason that I have chosen to pursue a career in primary health care.

What was the most difficult part of your trip?
One of the most heartbreaking things about any medical mission is that you cannot help everyone. There are cases that will always break your heart, and it was the forced acceptance of this that was difficult. Like in the case of Linh, there was nothing more we could do for her. But I think the reality of these missions is that it is not about what you can give to the people of this or that country, but what you learn from them by being there. Every time I go on these medical missions, I always feel like I should have given more, and at the same time, I feel like I received so much more than what I did give. I get the privilege of listening to these people’s stories and carrying with me as I go onward in my journey in medicine, and no matter how difficult it is to listen to some of their stories and realize that you can’t save everyone—every heartbreak is still worth the trip.

What draws you to Global Health?
The multidimensional aspect of global health is one of my favorite aspects of this field of medicine. Global health is all about making connections and learning from one another. In particular, I enjoy seeing different health systems all over the world and the cultural and socioeconomic factors that affect health in different countries.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in Global Health?
You learn in Global Health that healthcare is truly interdisciplinary. When you immerse yourself in it, don’t view it from the lens of a hierarchy. No one person runs the show, but everything about it is a team effort and a systems based approach. Learn about other professions and see what their impact may be on health and health delivery. And always, be humble and open to input and ideals from a wide spectrum of professionals.

2017 APAMSA Global Health Fellowship

Interested in Community, Public and Global Health? Want to understand different approaches to international development? APAMSA has partnered with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) in Jamkhed, India to make available a three week course studying community health and development.

Learn about:

• Village Health Worker Training
• Delivery of Pre/Post Natal Care
• Adolescent Girls Program and Pre-School Programs • Women’s Health
• Agriculture and Watershed Development
• Working with and Empowering Communities


Application deadline March 1st, 2017

Check out the 2017 Global Health Fellowship flyer

Contact globalhealth@apamsa.org for questions!


APAMSA Feature: “What is APAMSA?” Video

Thank you to our Social Media Director, Linh Vu, for recording and putting together this video!

The aim for this video was to answer the question "What is APAMSA and what does it do?" It goes into the history and establishment of APAMSA and continues to the current day to touch on the wide reach of the organization. 

Interviews were captured at the 2016 National Conference in Chicago, Il. Images were taken from APAMSA events across the country from the past few years. 

This video may be shared and screened at APAMSA affiliated events. 

This media, in its entirety or partiality, may not be used for profit. 

Global Health Spotlight – Kaythi Khin

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Kaythi Khin, a second year medical student at New York Institute of Technology – College of Osteopathic Medicine. I graduated from St. John’s University with a Biology major. I am originally from Burma, born and raised there until my family moved to New York in 2008.

What Global Health Experiences have you participated in?

My experience in Global Health is still fairly new. I was exposed to an outreach experience in the summer of 2014 when I visited Burma. I was part of this Family Mobile Clinic that goes out to the outskirts of my hometown, Yangon, and provides medical care to those who can’t afford it. Our group consisted of 20 people with three medical residents, one dental resident, a few medical scribes, and many family members that came along to help out with anything we needed. We saw about 100 villagers including monks and nuns of all ages. As a pre-med student back then, I helped out by taking vital signs and scribing.

This past summer, I went on a global outreach trip to Ghana with NYIT Center for Global Health. We stayed in Osiem, a town in Volta region of Ghana for 3 weeks. Our team had 14 medical students and 2 doctors/ professors. We donated about 500 lbs of medical supplies and equipment to Hawa Memorial Saviour Hospital and its sister clinics in Ashanti region.

Can you tell us more about your experience in Ghana?

In Ghana, we worked with Hawa Memorial Saviour Hospital. Our team was led by Dr. Passafaro and Dr. Lardner, both of whom have experience in international work. As medical students, we got a chance to work under local physicians and observed daily rounds in the ER, Maternity, Pediatrics, Male and Female wards. We also got to observe and assist in procedures such as inguinal hernia repair, cesarean sections, hysterectomy, etc.
Since malaria being endemic in the area, we also donated insecticide-treated bed nets and educated the locals on malarial prevention and control.
We also had to the opportunity to host a lecture series on various health topics such as diabetes mellitus, congenital heart defects, etc to nursing students in Osiem.

How did you find out about this opportunity? How were you able to fund your trip?

I talked to a few upperclassmen who were involved with different global health organizations. A few of the well-known organizations are Himalayan Health Exchange, Work the World, and DO Care International.
Besides these programs, NYIT-COM has its very own Center for Global Health (CGH) and they have this Global Health Certificate Program which consists of three courses; 1) Global Health Core Course – addresses critical issues in GH, cultural and health disparity, infectious diseases and tropical medicine, 2) Fieldwork – Ghana, Haiti or Costa Rica for 2-4 weeks 3) Global Health
Kaythi Khin-Global Health Spotlight
Research. This course offers 9 credits which can be used later on if you wish to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
In addition to my interest in pursuing MPH, I figured it is really important to have a proper understanding of issues we are facing in Global Health so I decided to go with this program. There was a $1000 scholarship grant from NYIT CGH this year which you can apply for but I unfortunately missed the deadline. I pretty much funded my trip with federal loans. I do know a few people who fundraised for their trips and it worked out well for them!

What was one specific experience during your trip that really stuck with you? What was the most difficult part of your trip?

We didn’t encounter any major obstacles during our trip. It was definitely hard getting used to the heat and the change in food at first. But we got used to it after a few days.

One experience from this trip that really stuck with me was getting to know the locals. I made some friends while I was there. Among them was this one girl who I got to know more than others, specifically how she grew up, and what her family is like. Through her, I got to understand Ghanaian culture and tradition a bit more. Plus, it was just really nice to know that you can still connect with someone on a personal level despite the cultural differences and language barrier.

What draws you to Global Health?

Since I was young, I’ve always had this dream to travel around the world but it wasn’t until my senior year of college that I realized there is something better than just traveling; traveling for a cause! I went to Paris with my theology class – it was a service learning trip where we not only learned about the culture and explored the city, but we also devoted our time helping those that were less fortunate. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me grow.

It is quite similar to Global Health trips. It is traveling for a great cause. There are so many healthcare disparities and inequalities across the world. Growing up in Burma, I experienced first-hand how healthcare is a privilege and it has always been my dream to make healthcare accessible to areas that are in need. But I feel like we don’t really understand what is actually happening in those areas unless you experience them first-hand. I think that Global Health closes that gap of knowledge and helps us understand why certain areas are underserved, and how we can improve them. In addition, it’s a big bonus that it brings people from different backgrounds together.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in Global Health?

I can’t comment much on funding, but your school may have scholarships available. If not, youcan do what I did; contacted financial aid office and applied for additional loans!

Make sure you do a lot of research on where you want to travel to, which organization you want to travel with. Your safety is very important. Reach out to people with previous experience. They will be more than happy to share their good/bad experience with you. Also, plan ahead. There may be a lot of paperwork regarding visas or vaccines depending on where you are going. Once you’ve decided on where you want to travel to, learning their culture ahead of the time is definitely helpful. You don’t want to get there and do something that can be offensive in other cultures.

Once you are there, don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone, get to know the locals, learn their lifestyles and help out! You’ll have a great time!

Feel free to email me at kkhin@nyit.edu if you have any questions!


May Updates

Donate to Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts; Check out SLU, WashU, and Rush events; Learn about Cancer and the AAPI Population; Tune in to a Seminar on Social Determinants of Health (MAY 2015)


This 3rd Sunday of May, mark the start of API Cancer Awareness Week with these great resources! Learn about lung cancer and the API population.

Rush APAMSA, with Rush geriatrician Dr. Qin Xi Dong, organized a health screening and education fair in Chicago. (More)

APAMSA is partnering with the Asian & Pacific Islander Caucus to bring you an excellent webinar on the social determinants of AAPI health. (RSVP)

Region VII is pleased to conclude this year’s regional conference on Leadership in Medicine, at Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California. (More)

LA Times: APAMSA national officer Michelle Chen promotes health screening in Hacienda Heights. (More) (Photo: Marcus Yam, LA Times)

Congratulations to our graduating seniors at every chapter! In particular, we would like to honor these seniors for their service to National APAMSA:

Amy Zhang (LSU), Claudia Cao (Michigan), Helen Shi (Michigan), Hillary Lin (Stanford), Justin Teng(Michigan), Mike Chu (Michigan), Tracy Wang(Hopkins), Tiffany Ho (Hopkins), Michelle Pong(Einstein), Paul Peng (Mt. Sinai), Peter Park(Michigan), Ammar Siddiqui (Mt. Sinai), Jin Ge(Penn), Shannon Koh (Vanderbilt), Linh Vu (UCI)

Please consider donating towards the Nepal Earthquake Relief Funds. (More)

Congratulations to our Healthy Choices Recipe Contest Winners (More)

Rush APAMSA andSASA celebrate cuisine and nutrition during APA Heritage Month (More)

SLU and WashU APAMSA put on a lecture on Chronic Hepatitis B in Asian-Americans.

Contribute to our Global Health Opportunities Directory (More)



APAMSA Global Health Update – Donate to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund

Last Saturday on April 25th, a massive magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit Nepal. The earthquake was centered near Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and nearby countries were also affected including India and China. As of April 29th, over 5,500 have died andanother 8,000 have been injured. The United Nations estimates eight million people are affected by this earthquake, with 1.4 million requiring food aid and 1.3 million children needing urgent humanitarian aid.
If you would like to raise funds or donate, there are several organizations listed below that will direct your donations directly towards the Nepal Earthquake Relief Funds. Donation websites for the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, and UNICEF are linked below:
1. American Red Cross: Link
2. Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres: Link
3. UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund): Link


PRIMCARE Project (Primary Care Access in Vietnam)’s student learning program IKEP (Inter-profession Knowledge Exchange Program) is currently accepting applications for their summer 2014. Please see the attached application and factsheet. The application’s deadline has been extended to January 15, 2014.

IKEP Application 2014

IKEP Fact Sheet

Global health posts are brought to you by Hieu Pham (globalhealth@apamsa.org).

2013 APAMSA Global Health Fellows Announcement

The APAMSA Global Health Initiative mission is to educate, support, and mobilize APAMSA medical students to address health issues in Asian countries. In 2013, 3 recipients received fellowship in support of their engaging in research, volunteering, or study abroad in the 2013 calendar year.   Congratulations to Yuntong, Rachel, and Antonio for being selected as the 2013 APAMSA Global Health Fellows!  Overviews of their exciting projects are as follows:

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