Allison came to Creighton to learn about the intricacies of medicine, how patients are treated and who experiences barriers to medicine.
Before coming to Creighton’s School of Medicine, Allison Lu attended the University of San Diego and graduated with a degree in biochemistry with minors in biomedical ethics and management. After graduation, she was accepted at Creighton and joined the inaugural class of the Arrupe Global Scholars Program.
The program focuses on health equity and awards both Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees in five years. Here’s what Allison had to say about Creighton and the program.
What brought you to Creighton?
- I was initially interested in Creighton’s cura personalis mission, especially because my undergraduate education developed my passion for individualized storytelling and how people’s intersection of identities could affect their healthcare. The biggest draw for me was my visit to the Phoenix campus for the Admitted Students Day where I saw how genuinely happy the current M1 students were — even amidst their stress. It showed me that Creighton not only emphasized cura personalis in how patients are treated, but also for their students.
What made you want to get into medicine?
- I had a variety of passions growing up, including science, teaching and volunteering. I wasn’t sure where these interests were going to take me until I realized that medicine incorporated all three in some fashion; I could constantly be learning science as the healthcare field develops over time, educate my patients and interact with individuals from different backgrounds in a personalized manner. Especially after witnessing my grandpa’s experience with the U.S. healthcare system as a Taiwanese immigrant, I was even more motivated to learn about the chain reaction and web of sociocultural determinants that affect public health.
What has your experience in the Arrupe Global Scholars Program been like so far?
- It’s hard to sum up my experience because it is unlike any other opportunity I’ve had before. I am pushed to reflect on my view of the world and the intricacies of social medicine that determine who gets treatment and who experiences barriers to medicine. It’s challenging and simultaneously the most rewarding experience in medical school so far.
Can you tell us what you did during your two-week orientation in the Dominican Republic?
- In the Dominican Republic, the biggest goal of the trip was to practice a Ministry of Presence. We were not there to “do,” but to listen to, learn about and experience the daily lives of individuals in the Dominican Republic. As a typical med student who is so used to doing and helping all the time, it taught me to slow down and appreciate perspectives different from my own. The communities and their hospitality in the Dominican Republic, my peers and our program coordinator, Dr. Beste, truly made my time in the Dominican Republic transformative in the way I hope to restructure and decolonize global health in my career.
What are your long-term career goals?
- I’m not completely sure where my education will take me, but one of my biggest goals is to work internationally with marginalized communities experiencing public health issues that serve as barriers to eradicating preventable diseases. Eventually, I would want to return to the U.S. to work with immigrant populations, and I would love to work with medical students in medical education.