The 7th Annual UCGHI/CUGH Conference
Global Health Student, Rozhon Badiozamani, shares her experience attending the UC Global Health Institute/Consortium of Universities for Global Health (UCGHI/CUGH) Conference, an innovative, student-driven Satellite Session.
Hello! My name is Rozhon Badiozamani and I am currently a fourth-year Global Health major. I attended this conference as the only Student Ambassador from UCSD, and was joined by 16 other undergraduate and graduate students from across the UC system. My job was to attend session, be present and an active attendee throughout, and share my experience with my community. Although I’m not an expert, by any means, on how to be successful in global health, I’d like to share with you just a few things I learned from participating in such an engaging and eye-opening conference.
UCGHI stands for the University of California Global Health Institute. UCGHI incorporates all of the 10 University of California campus missions in training the next generation of global health leaders. CUGH stands for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. CUGH is a much broader umbrella of all institutions, organizations, and groups of people that are dedicated to global health.
This year’s conference theme was “Bridging to a Sustainable Future in Global Health” and aimed to address the wide breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.
Medicine is not the (only) answer
After years of being conditioned to think that if you want to help people, you should go into medicine, I can finally see how there are so many other ways to help people. Medicine is great, and it saves lives, but so do policy and health economics – just in a different way. A doctor can’t necessarily manage a successful NGO or engineer the infrastructure for a fresh water pipeline in a rural part of El Salvador. Global health is interdisciplinary, and we should emphasize that by increasing the visibility of other career avenues that still contribute to the betterment of people’s’ lives in a meaningful way.
Find your passion – Once you’ve figured it out, explore your passion and wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to it. Once I changed my major from Human Biology (no disrespect, but evidently not the right fit for me) to Global Health, I found myself involved in countless organizations, volunteering for events, and attending office hours of current/past global health professors to simply have a conversation.
Know what resources you have – UCSD has myriad of incredibly talented, well-esteemed, and successful professors/faculty. Not only are they living and breathing reserves of knowledge, but they are specifically working at a university to openly share their wisdom to students. Even if they don’t have something to offer, they will definitely have a colleague or friend you can talk to. Have a conversation with as many people in your field as you can and you will most likely learn something new about yourself, your passions, and/or your career pursuits.