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A new world view

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2003 - Summer


This issue’s cover stories from Russia mark a new chapter in Yale Medicine’s efforts to report on the activities of Yale doctors around the globe. For several years now, the magazine has provided glimpses of medicine and life abroad through the eyes of traveling medical students, residents, professors and alumni in its “Letter from …” series. This time, we report directly from the former Soviet Union on two major Yale initiatives in medical education and public health.

That we can bring you these stories is testament to the skill and stamina of the two journalists who traveled last fall on assignment to Kazan and St. Petersburg—and a bit of good timing. Contributor Anne Thompson was working in The Associated Press’ Berlin bureau during the German elections in September and was able to travel from there to Kazan, site of a decade-long exchange with the Department of Internal Medicine. Associate Editor John Curtis photographed her report from the Tatar capital, where Yale faculty, experts in clinical investigation and evidence-based medicine, are helping their Russian counterparts reconnect with Western science following more than 70 years of near-isolation.

Timing worked again in our favor when we learned that Public Health Dean Michael Merson would be in St. Petersburg the following week to hammer out details of Russia’s first master of public health degree training program, focused largely on infectious and chronic disease prevention. Curtis hopped on an overnight train to Moscow, then a second one to St. Petersburg, and saw firsthand how faculty from New Haven are working with scientists there to stem the spread of AIDS in Russia, home of one of the world’s fastest-growing epidemics.

In these turbulent times, both stories reflect the tremendous interest at Yale in the larger world around us and the ways in which we can influence it as a force for knowledge and human progress. It’s worth noting that the ways in which that interest is expressed can be explored through a new university website launched in March. “Yale and the World” ( is the university’s central resource for information about international programs and contains a searchable database of faculty research around the world. There you’ll find the projects in Kazan and St. Petersburg along with hundreds more in medicine, health and science across the globe. It’s a growing list and one we hope will stimulate your own global thinking. If you have an international project brewing, we’d like to know about it. I hope you’ll drop us a line.