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2015 Fulbright Grant Awardee Masra Shameem

Masra Shameem

Masra Shameem

Hometown: Dix Hills, NY
Program: Public Health – Graduate
Destination: India
Grant type: Study/Research

What is the goal of your Fulbright experience?
The primary goal of my Fulbright experience is to gain insight into the social and cultural determinants of cervical cancer screening in Mumbai, India. India has the highest prevalence of cervical cancer in the developing world and in 2020, the number of cervical cancer-related deaths is predicted to increase significantly. Given this, it is imperative to understand barriers to screening given that the nation provides ample screening opportunities.

Why did you apply to Fulbright?
From the ages of 14-16 I lived in Karachi, Pakistan and was able to observe health outcomes in the developing world, particularly for women. I had always hoped to return to similar developing nations to understand the reasons behind these health disparities. The Fulbright grant will provide me with this opportunity. However, unlike my experiences in Pakistan in which I was a silent observer, the Fulbright grant allows me to actively investigate a health outcome affecting thousands of women in the developing world.

How does your Fulbright fit in with your long-term career goals?
My future goals include being both a physician and researcher who focuses on women’s health. This scholarship will provide me with an opportunity to conduct my own research project on a topic in women’s health that I am passionate about. Another component of my Fulbright experience will be participating in prevention lectures in Mumbai, which mirrors the physician-patient relationship I hope to have in the future. This experience will also help me understand how society and culture influence health outcomes, helping me become a more approachable and competent physician in the future.

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