When Caleb heard about the Arrupe Global Scholars program, he knew it was his next step.
Caleb Armendariz knew he wanted to be involved in public health after starting a vaccine awareness campaign as an undergraduate at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He also worked to improve access to testing in downtown San Diego, but he wasn't sure what his involvement in public health would look like long-term.
When he heard about the Arrupe Global Scholars Program, he knew it was his next step. The five-year program at Creighton awards both Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees, and it focuses on global health equity. The program is available on Creighton’s Omaha, NE, and Phoenix campuses. Armendariz recently answered a few questions about his involvement in the program.
What brought you to Creighton?
- When I was looking at medical schools, I was drawn to Creighton’s Jesuit value of cura personalis, or care for the whole person. My life experiences have shown me there are more components of human suffering than just the health of the human body. I believe Creighton truly values educating physicians to care for all aspects of an individual’s well-being. When I learned of the Arrupe Global Scholars Program, I knew I would attend Creighton’s School of Medicine if I was accepted.
What made you want to get into medicine?
- My youngest brother, Josiah, was born with infantile spasms, a type of seizure disorder that occurs in babies. My family was told by doctors that my brother would likely not live past the age of five, and we spent the next fifteen years of his life caring for him, taking him to his many appointments and visiting him in the hospital. I have very clear memories of doctors taking the time to explain to my family what was happening. I knew that I loved science growing up and that I wanted to help individuals like my brother and family; medicine felt like the perfect fit! I have memories of doctors taking the time to explain illness in a way that I could understand, and I knew I wanted to do the same.
How did you first hear of the Arrupe Global Scholars Program? What has your experience been like so far?
- I first heard of the Arrupe Global Scholar program when I was interviewing for the MD program, and I knew instantly it was something I wanted to be a part of. My experience with the program has been phenomenal so far. It's very intentional about forming true partnerships with communities that are meant to last.
Can you tell us what you did during your two-week orientation in the Dominican Republic?
- In our summer trip to the Dominican Republic, we learned about the healthcare system in the Dominican Republic from both Haitian and Dominican doctors. We also were able to see some of the many partnerships that Creighton currently has with communities in the Dominican. Our first trip to the Dominican Republic was less about doing things for the communities there and more focused on building relationships for future partnerships.
What are your long-term career goals?
- I have no idea what specialty I want to go into. I do know that I love to work with young kids with special needs. I know I will use whatever specialty training I receive to improve access to care and help those experiencing poverty both in the United States and abroad.