Student Profiles: Dr. Kurt Figueroa ’18

Dr. Kurt Figueroa (right) and Nurse Sebishyimbo François (left) see patients for their oncology consultations at Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda. Photo by Zacharias Abubeker for UGHE.

Dr. Kurt Figueroa is a student in UGHE’s Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD) Class of 2018. Unlike most of his peers, Figueroa is not Rwandan. He moved from working at a small Partners In Health clinic in the Sierra Madre mountains of Chiapas, Mexico—his home country—to a similarly remote hospital that PIH supports in Rwanda. When he’s not in class, he works at Butaro District Hospital as the oncology clinical officer.

Here he shares his experiences as a global health student at UGHE and as a doctor providing care in the far reaches of Mexico and Rwanda.

What attracted you to the university?

I first heard about UGHE when they were accepting applications for the first group of students in 2015. At the time, student positions were only for people based in Rwanda. So I sent emails asking about the program and they said I needed to wait for one year, when they would probably open it for international students. So I waited and kept working in Mexico. After one year, I applied again, as well as to another program, and I was accepted to both.

What made me choose UGHE was that it was a two-year program, and also that it was another opportunity to work with the organization that helped me take my first steps in global health—PIH.

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