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<span>In 2017, three Indiana University School of Medicine students spent the summer in Eldoret, Kenya, as Slemenda Scholars and this year&nbsp;ended up back in Eldoret at the same time by chance.&nbsp;</span>

Slemenda Scholars Reunite in Kenya as Residents with Global Health Aspirations

Grant Callen, Helen Li and Roshni Dhoot in 2017 and in 2024.

In 2017, three Indiana University School of Medicine students spent the summer in Eldoret, Kenya, as Slemenda Scholars where they learned about AMPATH Kenya’s care, training and research mission.

This year, Grant Callen, Roshni Dhoot and Helen Li ended up back in Eldoret at the same time by chance. They reflected on how AMPATH and Eldoret has changed in the ensuing seven years and how the Slemenda experience impacted the trajectory of their medical education and careers.

Callen is now a PGY-3 pediatric resident and completed his global health rotation in Eldoret in January and February. Dhoot is in the final year of her neurology residency at Duke and spent a month in Eldoret doing neurology consults with Carmelo Graffagnino, MD. Li is a surgery resident at Washington University in Saint Louis and is spending the year as a Fogarty Fellow conducting research.

Callen: A lot has changed here in Eldoret. You can get almost anything you want delivered via Uber Eats and there is a mall with a Woolworth’s down the street.

Li: Perhaps what is most obvious is how much AMPATH has grown. Experiencing the (AMPATH) Expo this year was an impressive event--seeing so many dedicated people coming together from all over the world with a shared mission to improve care, research and education for their communities.

Callen: As Eldoret has grown, so have we. The one thing we all still have in common is AMPATH and its lasting impact on our passion for global health. The fact that we are all together again in Eldoret without having planned this reunion speaks to how meaningful that summer was for each of us.

Dhoot: My Slemenda experience in was my foundational global health experience. I knew that I wanted global health to be part of my career but wasn't sure how I could accomplish that when I fell in love with neurology as a specialty. When I interviewed at Duke, one aspect of the program that stood out to me was the neurology department's involvement with AMPATH. I was so excited to match at Duke after medical school and stay part of the AMPATH Consortium.

Li: I started working with the surgery team with Dr. Connie Keung when I first started at AMPATH, and since then, have had the chance to work with three generations of incredible team leads. I've also been able to work with multiple Kenyan mentors and am excited to see the growth of research and education within the department. 

Callen: That summer solidified for me that I wanted a career in global health while exposing me to some of the difficult realities of maintaining an ethical, sustainable global health partnership. It also provided me with a community of amazing global health professionals – both Kenyan and North American – who would become career mentors and life-long friends. Through the connections I made that summer I was selected as a Fogarty Global Health Scholar in 2019. That experience solidified my desire to be a pediatrician, clarified my hopes to research and provide care to local-global adolescent populations, and built the foundational skills necessary to be a physician scientist. In short, AMPATH has defined my medical training and has given me my professional career. I could not be more grateful for this organization.

Dhoot: Seven years later, as a neurology chief resident, I’ve had the opportunity to come back for a month to do neurology consults and see how neurologic care is essential to global health care. This time, I had more knowledge and skills to give back, through teaching the senior registrars and becoming involved with projects that will improve stroke care for patients at MTRH. As I look forward to the next steps, I know that global health will be part of my career!

Li: Through AMPATH, I've been able to work with multiple mentors and colleagues that have helped me to develop my research skills and shape the future direction of my work. There are so many great examples of people and projects that are continuing to push to improve all aspects of AMPATH's tripartite mission, and it's inspiring to work in this kind of community. 

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Debbie Ungar

Assistant Director of Communications

As assistant director of communications for the IU Center for Global Health and AMPATH, Debbie shares stories about the university's partnerships to improve health care in Kenya and around the world. Contact her at 317-278-0827 or