Darius Graham '22 Awarded Fulbright
The anthropology major and health studies minor will spend next year in London, earning his master’s in public health at Imperial College London.
The prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards over 2,200 grants a year to seniors and recent graduates for study, research, or English teaching opportunities in over 140 countries. But each year it has only one spot available via its partnership with Imperial College London. Next year it is going to Darius Graham '22.
The anthropology major and health studies minor will pursue his master’s in public health at Imperial College London, whose mission to benefit society through excellence in science, engineering, medicine, and business aligns with Graham’s academic passions. At Haverford, he researched “structural competence”—a framework in health professional education that aims for providers to understand how clinical problems and attitudes towards populations and health systems are influenced by social determinants of health—and how that framework could better address health inequities experienced by patients of color. His senior thesis included observational research conducted while working as a medical scribe, analyzing doctor-patient interactions for examples of structural issues in the healthcare system. As a part of his graduate studies, he hopes to continue and broaden this research.
“My plan is to expand on my thesis research by participating in supervised observational research opportunities that Imperial College offers in order to better understand how the United Kingdom’s health system addresses health inequities through practices that align with structural competency principles,” he said. “I would like to bring what I have learned from the U.K.’s health system and eventually implement their strategies in order to address health inequities in communities of color as a healthcare administrator.”
Graham, who hails from New York City, has already been accepted into several healthcare administration masters programs in the States, but he is deferring for a year for his Fulbright.
Though structural competency is a particularly American medical paradigm, Graham is eager to understand what the Brits are doing via their National Health Service (NHS) so that they are having better equity in outcomes without that particular framework being specifically taught.
“A 2017 report by The Commonwealth Fund shows that the United Kingdom ranks higher than the United States in several categories such as effective, safe, coordinated, and patient-oriented care and equity, which reflects principles of structural competency,” he said. “Studying at Imperial also offers me the opportunity to work with non-governmental and government healthcare partnerships like the Applied Research Collaboration, a research team that aims to reduce inequity by targeting social determinants of health using practices that align with structural competency principles. This module also includes working with the U.K.’s NHS to facilitate the translation of practices that reflect structural competency’s principles into day-to-day care practices within healthcare settings in London.”
In addition to his academic work, Graham has been busy on campus as one of the co-heads of the Black Students’ League, an intern in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, an intern in the Student Engagement Office, a Counseling and Psychological Services liaison, and a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Thriving Leadership Program. While living in London, he hopes to similarly deeply engage with the local culture and community.
“I plan to explore London and truly embark on their food and traditions,” he said. “But I also would like to travel Europe as much as I can—anywhere from France to Ireland!”