Isra Eldosougi, a well-traveled, non-traditional student who had personally observed healthcare inequities in various parts of the world, chose to pursue her medical degree at Creighton after encountering the Arrupe Global Scholars Program.
Isra Eldosougi traveled widely in the years before she discovered Creighton University’s Arrupe Global Scholars Program.
The New Jersey native and non-traditional student moved to Sudan after high school. There, while volunteering at a center for women and children with disabilities she observed both the stigmatization of a group in need of healthcare and the disparity between those with and without the ability to pay. She also studied Arabic in Madaba, Jordan, as part of the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship program, noting during her time there the special health needs of refugee communities.
Then, while earning her Bachelor of Science in evolutionary biology at Columbia University in New York City, Eldosougi conducted research on social determinants of health to help hospitals and health systems support vulnerable populations.
Clearly, she was ready for Arrupe Global Scholars.
“Creighton was the farthest institution I applied to, coming from New Jersey,” she says. “Yet, each interaction I had with individuals from Creighton and the Arrupe program made me feel at home. The warmth, support, and kindness I received while getting to know Creighton reflected an authentic respect of the human spirit — a respect I now see embodied by my classmates, professors and the Creighton community as a whole.”
Creighton’s five-year scholarship supported Arrupe Global Scholars Program allows students to earn an MPH along with their MD degree by working with marginalized communities domestically and abroad. Students complete their M1 and M2 years then break to complete their MPH coursework. After the MPH year, students resume their M3 and M4 years.
Participants travel abroad every year of medical school at one of Creighton’s international partner sites.
The more she looked into Global Scholars, Eldosougi said, the more she felt she had found the medical education she was looking for.
“The Arrupe program captures the unique essence of social justice, inclusivity, and radical love to promote human-centered care that addresses the global health needs of marginalized communities,” she says. “The spirit of Arrupe mirrored my approach to education.”
Her first Arrupe experience was a 10-day orientation at the Institute for Latin American Concern in the Dominican Republic, where she and her fellow students stayed with host families while attending lectures by public health professionals, as well as local doctors and professionals.
“During orientation in the Dominican Republic and at Creighton, I saw how the program focused on mutual partnership and the needs of the communities we serve,” she says.
“We learned about the Dominican healthcare system from people within the community, including Dominican physicians, Haitian activists, and community health workers. It showed me the importance of intentionality and seeking culture-specific solutions, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to global health.”
Eldosougi says she hopes in years to come to carry the lessons learned during her Arrupe experience into a partner program in Africa.
The Arrupe Global Scholars Program is named for Pedro Arrupe, SJ, the 28th superior general of the Society of Jesus, who was deeply committed to social justice and caring for people living in poverty.