Julia Kiemble Gabbay

iBSc in Global Health


What inspired you to study the course?

I studied this course in order to expand my knowledge and fulfil my interest of how health and medicine differentiates between western and non-western environments. Additionally, the iBSC global health course is a humanities focused degree which gave me an opportunity to broaden my education outside of the more objective nature of an MBChB

Tell us some information about you, your journey so far and what you want to achieve?

I am entering the final year of my medical degree at the university of Liverpool. My career interests have frequently changed in the past. However currently I am primarily interested in paediatrics, particularly from a global health perspective. I hope to work abroad in the future in the hope of gaining medical experience on a international scale. 

How have the skills and knowledge gained on the course helped you in your current role/career progression?

The variety and breadth of learning materials and reading sources have broadened my knowledge and insight into the wider aspects of healthcare amongst different communities and cultures. This knowledge is transferable not only to working abroad, but also within the UK due to the multicultural nature of many cities.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I enjoyed being able to debate and discuss different concepts, ideas and opinions which is not something that a medical degree usually offers. I especially enjoyed the process of my dissertation.

You received the Outstanding Dissertation IBSc award. What did you dissertation on? Why was this an important topic for you? What difficulties and challenges did you have to overcome to achieve such an award and how did you feel once you heard the news?

I completed my dissertation on the mental health of refugee children, with a focus on the post-migratory resettlement period. Global political, environmental and economic instability has meant that the number of displaced persons and refugees has continued to rise exponentially, with more than half of refugees being children and adolescents. I was interested in the concept of “safe but not settled” which describes the continued mental health trauma refugees face whilst in their new host country due to a myriad of reasons. Discrimination and being either accompanied or unaccompanied (by the child or adolescent’s primary caregiver) were revealed as two major reasons. 

The area of refugee mental health is vast and therefore, although narrowing the topic in order to formulate a more focused research question is necessary, i found this process difficult, especially as I wanted to ensure that my dissertation was relevant and contributed to such an important area of research. Furthermore, as I am dyslexic, I often find the process of writing challenging in itself however this degree and dissertation has proved to myself that I am capable of doing so.  I was extremely shocked and proud when I received the award and pleased that the efforts of myself and my supervisor had paid off! 

Do you have any advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

I think it is necessary for everyone to place themselves out of their comfort zone and expand their education and knowledge in order to realise what you may be capable of achieving which otherwise may never be realised.