Krishna Patel

Krishna was initially raised in India but spent most of her childhood and adolescent years growing up in south Georgia. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia, where she discovered a desire to learn about resource allocation and healthcare access through her economics studies. Following her undergraduate education, Krishna pursued medicine to advocate for and to serve disadvantaged communities that lack healthcare access. She is currently a fourth-year medical student at University of Virginia School of Medicine and hopes to matriculate into an internal medicine residency with a global health track. Krishna is passionate about understanding local and regional disparities to medical access. She hopes to pursue a career in global healthcare addressing the socioeconomic and cultural factors that contribute to the overall health of a patient.

Global Health Elective Rotation at Haydom Lutheran Hospital (HLH) 
Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Haydom, Manyara


What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
The Ben Kean Fellowship provides me with an opportunity to tangibly experience global healthcare, specifically in a rural, low-resource setting. By working directly with native health providers, I can obtain a deeper appreciation of how patient care and team structure varies in a different healthcare system. With this experience, I can improve my communication and clinical skills while caring for a patient population that is vastly different from the patient population that I am accustomed to at UVA. With the new knowledge and skills that I obtain from my global health rotation at Haydom Lutheran Hospital, I hope to continue to work toward building a future career in global and public health. 

What do you anticipate learning?
I hope to develop an understanding of how medical care differs in a community hospital of a tropical country that has a different allocation of resources compared with a community hospital in the United States. Through my clinical duties, I will specifically elucidate the contrast between the health disparities faced by the rural Haydom population compared with the rural Virginian population I care for at UVASOM. During my time at Haydom Lutheran Hospital, I hope to provide empowering, patient-centric care by learning more about the local sociocultural and economic environment. I hope to gain a deeper appreciation of the challenges that patients and health providers face in a rural, low-resource healthcare setting.

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My upbringing and educational studies draw me to tropical medicine. Tropical infectious diseases disproportionately affect global communities that lack regular, equitable access to care. I aspire to lead a career in global health and tropical diseases to work toward alleviating the unfair burden of disease that riddles global minorities. I am interested in the economics behind healthcare delivery—especially resource allocation and healthcare access. In my future career, I hope to investigate and design effective interventions to reduce the burden of health inequities and disparities that many marginalized communities unjustly face.