In the fall of 2006, Jason Andrews, M.D. ’07, then a student at the School of Medicine, approached Yale Medicine to ask if we’d be interested in writing about a project he and his classmates had undertaken. They were starting a clinic in Achham, a remote region in western Nepal. Students often ask us to write about their projects. I told Jason what I tell the others—let’s wait until your project is up and running. The clinic, called Nyaya, the Nepali word for justice, soon opened its doors—but getting a story proved challenging. A writer in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, was willing to visit the site, but an uprising by Maoist rebels forced her to cancel the trip. Indeed, it can take three days to travel from Kathmandu to Achham, a trip of about 260 miles that usually takes about 30 hours but is often stymied by landslides, flooding, and bad roads. Last summer Stephanie Soucheray, our summer writing intern, began interviewing Andrews and others for the article from our offices in New Haven. Her story shows how a group of students created a sustainable locally staffed clinic that has brought health care to an area that desperately needs it.
And our series on alumni career choices continues with Cathy Shufro’s profiles of six physicians who are also writers. Some started out as doctors and turned to writing later in their careers. One was a journalist who became a doctor who is now a consultant for a TV doctor show, and another studied medicine in order to write about it. Each has found a way to bring some of the mysteries of medicine to a broad audience.