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Irene Koplinka-Loehr '10 Awarded Scholarship to Medical School for International Health

July 2, 2010

Irene Koplinka-Loehr '10 (Ithaca, N.Y.), who recently was awarded a BA in studio art cum laude and was a featured speaker at Carleton's 136th commencement ceremony, is one of three recipients of a $10,000 scholarship designated for first year students at the Medical School for International Health, a collaboration of the Columbia University Medical Center and Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The Medical School for International Health (MSIH) is the only four-year, American style medical school to incorporate global health coursework into all four years of the medical school curriculum. The MSIH curriculum includes a year-long course in global health, modules on international health topics, and specialized training, through courses such as Nutrition in the Developing World, Disaster Relief, Infectious and Tropical Diseases, and Global Health and the Environment. An eight-week required international health and
medicine clerkship with an underserved community during the spring of the fourth-year is the capstone to the student’s global health medical education.  Clerkship sites in locations such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Israel and the United States provide hands-on experience in cross-cultural medicine and population health.    

Graduates match in residency programs in leading hospitals and medical centers throughout the United States and Canada. After completing residency training, alumni are expected to make significant contributions to global health through clinical work, policy development, research and medical education. 

Koplinka-Loehr is representative of the kind of medical student who attends the MSIH, which enrolls a diverse student body of more than 170 men and women from around the world and has 281 graduates in residency, fellowship, private practice, and research in the U.S., Canada, and abroad. Students represent a wide range of perspectives and many enter the MSIH with an advanced degree. 

While attending Carleton, Koplinka-Loehr volunteered her time as a liaison between the College and the Hope Center in Faribault, Minn., a resource center for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. She publicized and organized training sessions and provided support for student volunteers. She also completed training and was certified as an EMT-B to provide directed pre-hospital care. Additionally, in 2008 she volunteered at the Sulayman Junkung General Hospital in Gambia in western Africa, where she collaborated with other volunteers to develop health awareness programs, and implement HIV/AIDS testing and education.