When anesthesiologist Somya Mishra was training in a military hospital in Delhi, she was planning to specialize in anesthesia for transplant surgery. But just before she graduated in 2015, Nepal was hit by its devastating earthquake. She responded to calls for medical staff from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and was stunned to be assigned to Bijabur, India where there is a conflict between Maoist rebels and government forces that has lasted for 40 years. “I didn’t know there were such health emergencies in my own country. I was trained at an institution doing robotics. In Bijabur, conditions were so poor that they couldn’t perform a C-section,” said Somya.
During that time, Somya met Unni Karunakara, a YSPH alum, former International President of MSF, and now a fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Karunakara became a role model and showed Somya how a background in public health could be applied to her career as an anesthesiologist in the global arena.
Now a student in the Advanced Professional MPH Program at the Yale School of Public Health, Somya has looked for ways to strengthen her studies in global health from the perspective of clinical surgery. The fruit of those efforts will be shared this weekend at the First Annual Yale Global Surgery Symposium, which Somya helped to organize with Drs. Doruk Ozgediz and Maija Cheung. There is a lot of talk in my public health courses on development and health systems, says Somya. “With 30 percent of deaths in low income countries due to lack of access to surgery, this field needs to be on that map, too.”
Information on the Yale Global Surgery Symposium 2017: http://surgery.yale.edu/education/program/global.aspx#page4