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Reflections on Time Abroad

Both residents and faculty at Yale have rewarding experiences abroad exploring mental health throughout the world. Throughout Asia and Latin America to Africa, Yale psychiatrists are learning from other psychiatrists while bringing their own expertise to these regions. We have begun to highlight only a few of the many exciting Global Mental health experiences that have been possible here at Yale.

Reflections on Global Mental Health Experiences

  • "I was fortunate to receive the Yale Global Mental Health Scholarship continue working with partners in Danang, Vietnam."
  • "While at Yale, I have been able and encouraged to pursue my GMH interests which I came into the residency with."
  • A resident returns to Changsha, China to explore cultural definitions of childhood physical abuse.
  • "Traveling to Chiapas, Mexico was a marked experience in my professional and personal lives. Meeting and connecting with the local residents and working with young men and women that practice at the forefront of Global Health prompted me to engage in a constructive and reflective process."
  • "Overall, the experience in the global mental health project in Sierra Leone, has undoubtedly changed my life and worldview, not only on how psychiatry is practiced, but how medicine on a whole is approached throughout the world."
  • A resident conducts a thematic analysis of qualitative data on mental health delivery and recovery. The findings will help mental health programs in Nepal improve health and socioeconomic outcomes.
  • "I came away with a deeper understanding of substance abuse issues in the region and a level of compassion and commitment to those struggling with these disorders that would not have been possible without this experience."
  • "The experience provided me the opportunity to see how similar and yet how varied psychiatric presentations and treatments are across the globe. In Xiangya hospital, drug company pens and tissue boxes filled the busy outpatient attending's office who had multiple medical students hovering around a patient in distress -- a familiar sight. Yet not so recognizable was an almost entire hospital with patients experiencing first break psychosis (given limited resources, most beds were allocated to first break patients) or mania and the absence of a requirement to obtain consent to speak with family members (physicians there found it peculiar that we would require such consent given that it was in the patient's best interest to have collateral information). The experience in China helped broaden my Western-centric view and provided me with recognition of the similarity of psychiatric symptoms despite a significantly different cultural backdrop. I am extremely grateful to the residency program for helping to arrange this cross-cultural experience; without help from the program in securing funding and collaboration with the Yale China Association this trip would not have been possible."
  • "It was an unforgettable experience from my residency training and my professional life. I learned more from those earthquake survivors than any textbooks and papers that I have read. I am always grateful to everyone who helped me accomplish this workshop. My thoughts are with those dedicated teachers and their young brave students."
  • "'Sawasdee,' a traditional Thai salutation meaning both 'hello' and 'goodbye', continues to echo through my head each time I think about my international psychiatry externship during my 2nd year of residency. My stint in Bangkok, Thailand was one of the best experiences of my residency training and I continue to have fond memories of the month I was lucky enough to rotate at the Chulalongkorn Hospital and work with some of the friendliest, most gracious people I have ever met."