(Originally published in Interdisciplinary MPH Program Alumni and Student News, Spring 2011)
Jerome Chin MD, PhD, MPH ’10 writes: “I became interested in Buddhism in 2008 during a month-long climbing expedition in the Himalaya of Nepal, embracing the concept of samsara – the cycle of suffering and rebirth. The following year, I embarked on a professional and personal rebirth by closing my neurology private practice and enrolling in the Interdisciplinary MPH program. After seventeen years as a general adult neurologist, I yearned for a new challenge and an opportunity to use my knowledge and clinical experience to make a larger impact. The MPH program provided the essential tools for my career transition and catalyzed my passion for global health.
“With the help of classmates from East Africa, I arranged an independent visit to Uganda and Kenya in the summer of 2010. I spent the first two weeks as an attending neurologist at Mulago Hospital, the national referral hospital in Kampala, Uganda. I experienced first-hand the immense challenges of treating patients in a resource-limited setting. A brief flight took me to neighboring Kenya where I worked for three weeks at a rural HIV clinic in Nyanza Province with an HIV prevalence of more than 20%. The clinic is part of the UCSF FACES program, which provides care and treatment to over 90,000 people living with HIV. I returned to Mulago Hospital in March 2011 to teach neurology to the Ugandan medical students, interns, and resident physicians.
“These experiences crystallized my decision to embark on an academic career in global health. With the support of my wife, Nap Hosang, Martha Campbell, and Malcolm Potts, I joined the SPH faculty as a lecturer in global health and faculty advisor to the Interdisciplinary Program. I look forward to supporting the activities of the global health program and mentoring SPH students pursuing careers in global health. Recently, I led the formation of a Global Health Special Interest Group within the American Academy of Neurology to build capacity for neurology training and research in developing countries. One of the main goals of the group is to stimulate collaborations to increase the evidence base and advocacy for common neurological disorders such as epilepsy and stroke.”