Caring For Society’s Most Vulnerable
During the summer between Alexander Blum’s sophomore and junior years at Brown University, he traveled to Kolkata, India to work at a center for patients with Hansen’s disease, more commonly known as leprosy. Two years later, he moved to Kolkata and spent a year living and working at the center.
These and other experiences helped Blum understand the role of social determinants—especially stigma and poverty—in patients’ journeys navigating health and disease.
“What matters most is orienting myself toward service to others, grounded in justice, compassion, and humility. I believe that by living those values authentically, I can make a positive impact.”
Now a medical student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Blum continues to focus on serving marginalized populations locally and abroad. After his first year of medical school, he traveled to Bangladesh to work with Rohingya refugees in collaboration with the School’s Center for Health and Human Rights. In Baltimore, he has focused on engaging meaningfully with individuals experiencing homelessness and substance use disorder.
In his MPH program, Blum plans to gather the diverse skill set he’ll need to develop and implement interventions for vulnerable populations across the globe. Eventually, he hopes to combine this work with surgical care for patients affected by neglected tropical diseases.
“What matters most is orienting myself toward service to others, grounded in justice, compassion, and humility,” he says. “I believe that by living those values authentically, I can make a positive impact.”
ScB, Biochemistry, Brown University, 2016; Medical student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Graduation anticipated 2023