New Deanʻs Certificate of Distinction in One Health Approved at JABSOM

A new Deanʻs Certificate of Distinction in One Health developed by first year JABSOM medical student Sameer Kerjiwal and Tropical Medicine professor Dr. Sandra Chang has been approved by the JABSOM Curriculum Committee. The program will accept itʻs first students this summer when it offers a new MD5 elective, TRMD 595 (B) – Selected Topics in Infectious Diseases: One Health, to be taught by Dr. Jourdan McMillan, also from the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology at JABSOM.

The CDC defines One Health as a collaborative, multisectorial, and trans-disciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national, and global levels – to achieve optimal health (and well-being) outcomes recognizing the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment. Sameer, pictured on the right, describes One Health as “a novel approach to medicine that I believe all physicians should understand.” By taking a perspective that includes animal and climate health, he believes physicians can help uncover the root of medical problems and take novel preventative measures to diseases. Sameer believes that “the certificate of distinction will allow students to engage in literature and practical experiences that will challenge their conventional thoughts about human diseases. In a time where our climate is reaching a critical turning point, it is imperative that medical professions are ready to deal with the subsequent sweeping changes that will affect the health of all species on Earth. In addition to counseling patients with a One Health perspective, physicians can use their platform to show patients the downstream impacts of their actions on the health of the environment.”

In addition to the One Health foundation course, highlights of the certificate will include participating in a clinical experience at the Honolulu Zoo with Dr. Jill Yoshicedo, zoo veterinarian, developing innovative sustainable practices based on the One Health approach for JABSOM and the local medical community, and completing a One Health research or curriculum development project. Sameer and Dr. Chang are excited to have developed these new opportunities for medical students that follow in the footsteps of other innovative medical schools passionate about One Health.