Paris Hantzidiamantis graduated from Binghamton University in New York with a degree in Integrative Neuroscience in 2016. His interest in global health and tropical health was fully realized during a trip to rural Nicaragua in 2014. While in Nicaragua, Paris designed and executed a hygiene and first-aid initiative using skills acquired through his training as an EMT. The experience was incredible, but he felt frustrated with the relative minor impact that the trip provided. It was through this experience, along with other public health initiatives during his undergraduate years, that he acquired a specific interest in public health and preventative medicine, cornerstones that Paris will always practice medicine in accordance with.
He is currently a second-year MD candidate at SUNY Upstate Medical University. During his first year, Paris was a founding-member of the newly minted Global Health Club at his medical school; he is continuing his involvement as an executive board member again during his second year. Through the Global Health Club, Paris aspires to help future Upstate students design and successfully implement meaningful and effective global health experiences.
Moreover, early in his first-year of medical school, he met two like-minded individuals (and now close friends), Dan Lichtenstein and Megan Harris (also a Ben Kean fellow), with whom he began to plan a research project abroad. While spending two months in Machala, Ecuador, Paris is conducting a retrospective chart-review on patients with dengue fever, expanding on work done by students at SUNY Upstate in hopes of developing a more comprehensive severity index for the disease.
Project: "Defining Dengue Virus Toxicity Scale in Prediction of Disease Severity"
June 1, 2017 - August 1, 2017
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I am humbled and honored to have been selected for the Ben Kean fellowship and receive the support from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The fellowship has made it possible for me to pursue my passion for global health while providing me with an unparalleled learning opportunity and the privilege of working in the global community.
What do you anticipate learning?
I consider this trip abroad an invaluable component of my medical education. Beyond my courses in anatomy, physiology and other basic sciences, I yearn for a more comprehensive education on practicing medicine; one that includes experience in areas of clinical research, public health, epidemiology and tropical medicine. Even in the process of preparing for the trip I have learned so much from faculty of differing areas of expertise, from both SUNY Upstate and Ecuador (thanks to Skype). While on the ground in Ecuador, I will have the opportunity to work with medical students and researchers who are native to Ecuador. Through these experiences I hope to learn more about the local culture and dialect, something I consider integral to any global health experience. I am confident that the skills and knowledge I will obtain on this trip, both clinical and cultural, will provide me with a lifetime of tools necessary in bettering the health of my community and communities abroad that are so different than my own.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Tropical medicine extends the unique opportunity to serve others on a spectrum of socioeconomic conditions while becoming immersed in a culture so different than my own. I am impassioned to offer my help in the fight against dengue fever while honing my skills in public health and preventative medicine. In the future, it is my hope to expand my initiative particularly in vulnerable populations such as the LGBTQ community, with whom I have done extensive work while in the states. Through experiences abroad and in the states, I have seen firsthand how this population, in addition to others, is marginalized, and I am motivated to work throughout my career in the fight against indifference and inequalities.