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Monika Woldegiorgis '20 spent the summer shadowing doctors, and learning about maternal and child health in Uganda.
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Monika Woldegiorgis '20

London, UK

Major in Neuroscience

Monika’s clinical shadowing experience in Kabale, Uganda, has ignited a desire to change lives through the medical field.

Monika Woldegiorgis '20 spent the summer shadowing doctors, and learning about maternal and child health in Uganda.

Monika used the Power of Experience Grant to fund additional expenses that are often associated with off-campus and study abroad programs. The grant provides all incoming Knox students with up to $2,000 to support a qualifying experiential learning opportunity.

Describe your off-campus study program.

I went to the Kabale region in Uganda for a global health experience with Child and Family Health International. The two-week program included a series of lectures on maternal and child health, including some of the challenges facing people in Kabale. The program also had a clinical shadowing portion at the region’s maternal clinic, HIV clinic, and general hospital.

What is the most valuable thing you learned from the experience?

I learned that the little things we do make a huge difference in people’s lives. This was especially evident when I saw a Canadian doctor, who had gone on the same program as an undergraduate, come back to Kabale with donations of two ultrasound probes and two iPhones with ultrasound apps. These probes were used to scan children and the images were sent to health professionals in Canada who would diagnose them. It made a world of difference and just goes to show that there is so much that can be done if we set our minds on it. The experience has really helped reform my thoughts and ignited an irresistible desire to help those that need it most.

How has this experience impacted your future plans?

I have gained significant insight into how Uganda’s healthcare professionals are working to enhance women's and children’s health. I have seen what is working and what needs improving. I now wish to expand my travels to European countries, to see how countries in Europe differ in their approaches to solving health related issues in their communities and to understand how to better approach issues of disease, poverty, and ignorance.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned at Knox outside the classroom? 

As an alumni ambassador, it has been a great experience getting to meet Knox alumni and hearing their stories about how Knox shaped their lives. It has made me care more about the decisions I make while at college because it will affect the rest of my life. Knox has also taught me to become better at listening. I have learned that sometimes people just need someone to listen to them and hear their side of the story. It makes all the difference in interpersonal relationships.

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#"I went to Uganda with a hope that the experience will help cement my faith in the medical field and its role in changing people’s lives; I am happy to say that I was able to realize that hope."

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Printed on Monday, May 17, 2021