As an adventure-loving college student in Iowa, Kristen Jogerst, Geisel ’16, knew she wanted to do three things with her life: become a doctor, work abroad, and teach. As a second-year medical student, she’s well on her way to accomplishing all three.
Jogerst started participating in her first global health experiences while an undergraduate, traveling to Haiti to work on primary-care initiatives with the nongovernmental organization Community Health Initiative. She worked with rural populations in the mountains and countryside and fell in love with the country, its people, and the work.
Jogerst has since returned to Haiti, working as a clinic manager for Community Health Initiative, with members of Haiti’s Ministry of Health, and as part of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Infectious Disease and International Health team’s HIV care and treatment initiatives in Les Cayes.
Last summer, Jogerst witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of Haitians while living and working in the community of Les Cayes. “It was really important, because being part of the community you have a better sense of the community’s needs,” she says. “This is why partnerships are so important. Otherwise, you risk giving people what you think they need, rather than what they actually need.”