Dear Colleagues,

While we may feel comfortable in beautiful Columbia and at the University of Missouri, we, of course, know we are very fortunate as globally there continues to be extremely challenging health care issues in countries with fewer advantages than we have. Being aware of this, and thinking of ways to address world health issues, is one of the goals of the Global Health Scholars Program in the MU School of Medicine. I was fortunate to attend the inaugural Capstone Global Health Scholars Showcase this spring.

Our Global Health Scholars Program (GHSP) consists of medical students who participate to learn more about global health issues and who implement projects to explore many of these issues. In 2019, the GHSP inaugural year, four students participated. In 2022, 86 students participated, illustrating the interest and importance of the program to our students.

The group’s faculty adviser is Dr. Kathleen Quinn, associate dean for rural health. Dr. Quinn is very well respected among our medical students due to her leadership in the Rural Scholars Program. At the showcase, I got to look at a number of posters and talk to the medical students who created them.

Poster presentations at Acuff Gallery
Poster presentations lined Acuff Gallery in the School of Medicine as students showcased their global health projects.

I was honored to give opening remarks in which I discussed my deployment in the Air Force and my time seeing the health care system in the United Kingdom — not exactly a disadvantaged country, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless to observe a health care system very different from our own.

Emily Xu, one of our recent graduates of the Class of 2022, was selected to present her capstone GHSP project on an ophthalmology project she conducted. She will complete her residency in ophthalmology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Next, the students invited Dr. Kristin Sohl to discuss her efforts to disseminate autism training to health care providers around the world. It was an inspiring keynote speech.

Madelaine Behrens and Leeore Levinstei presenting
Madelaine Behrens and Leeore Levinstein, the two current student leaders of the GHSP, closed the evening with a discussion on the future of the group as they will both be graduating and specializing in internal medicine: Madelaine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and Leeore at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. They both told me they plan to stay committed to global health during their careers.

I am so very proud of all of our medical students committed to learning more about global health and becoming part of the solution on how to improve the health of the everyone on the planet.


Rick Barohn, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean, School of Medicine