Julia Rosenberg just completed her third year at Weill Cornell Medical College. Originally from Avon, Connecticut, she attended Cornell University and majored in general biology. Rosenberg went directly from her undergraduate studies to Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, where she became actively involved in the global health curriculum.
She spent the summer between her first and second years of medical school in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala, doing clinical work with the Mayan Medical Aid program. Inspired by the experience, she is returning to Guatemala this year to work on a maternal-child nutrition project. This work dovetails with her interest in pediatrics, which she hopes to pursue when she applies for residency programs.
Project: "Not by tortillas alone: Towards a Community-Based Nutrition Program in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala"
October 1, 2013 - April 15, 2014
Santa Cruz La Laguna, Guatemala
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I was surprised and overjoyed when I learned that I had received this competitive & prestigious fellowship. I was especially excited that I would now have a dynamic platform to interact with other students and practitioners with shared interests. The Kean Fellowship has helped to shape the identity and future of my project, and I am so grateful for the opportunity it offers. The support and encouragement from global health educators at my home institution helped me to design and implement this project and turn it into a reality. However, I still had concerns about general support and finding a forum to report my findings in a meaningful, contributable way.
In addition, there is a special meaning of this fellowship in relation to my home institution. I am a Cornell medical student, and, during our infectious disease unit, professor after professor spoke about the amazing work, mentorship, and contributions of Dr. Kean. He clearly had an amazing impact on the lives of so many of my mentors, and I am touched that his legacy is what is now allowing me to pursue this project that will hopefully shape my future involvement in global health & tropical medicine.
What do you anticipate learning?
I have learned from mentors that the best way to truly incorporate global health and tropical medicine into one's career is to take risks and get involved as soon as possible. I realize that I will face many unforeseen challenges in the upcoming months as I work to develop a maternal-child nutrition program. This project will hopefully help make an impact in reducing the impact of malnutrition on child growth and development in one small region of Guatemala, but I recognize the extent and depth of the challenge that must be overcome to have a widespread and lasting impact.
In the short term, I hope to learn how to overcome some challenges in a tropical setting in order to complete clinical research effectively during my time in Guatemala. On a larger scale, I am hoping to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing physicians providing care in tropical & resource-poor settings. My hope is to identify these problems and continue to think of new and innovative approaches to help improve these issues through research and clinical care in future years.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in tropical medicine has developed out of my desire to harness my medical education for the benefit of the underserved. The particular issue I would like to address during my upcoming year in Guatemala is malnutrition, a tropical disease that is having a profound impact on the growth and development of every child in tropical regions. I am hoping to learn how to start to bridge this astounding resource gap. I look forward to gaining more insight into solving these problems in tropical medicine over the coming year.