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Published: 09 Mar, 2021

Moyukh Chowdhury – One of the new voices of Global Health

PROFILE Umeå University alumnus Moyukh Chowdhury came to Sweden for two main reasons – to attend high level medical studies and to nurture his fascination with the Swedish welfare system. It all turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Text: Max Härstedt

Coming to Umeå in the late summer of 2016, the young, goal-oriented physician was already an experienced scholar in the world of medicine. After finishing high school in the homeland of Bangladesh, Moyukh spent six years to accomplish his bachelor degree in clinical medicine (MBBS) in the megacity of Guangzhou, China.

“You can't get a grip of how special these kinds of cities are until you experience them first hand. Beyond the sky scrapers lies a whole world of vibrating new Chinese culture”, Moyukh says, his voice clear and excited.

And so, the bachelor degree box was ticked off. Then after working for a while in China, he went back to Bangladesh and served as a physician there. What then is the next step for a young physician with highly set academic dreams and goals? Of course, Umeå University, Sweden.

I have always been fascinated by the structure of the Scandinavian welfare system. So, when I chose my specialization and my further education, I wanted to be where it all happens.

A new adventure begins

When Moyukh applied for Umeå University’s Master’s in Public Health in 2016 by the means of Swedish Institute Scholarship, it was (and still is) considered to be one of the top ranked programmes in the whole of Europe. On top of that, Moyukh's curiosity in Sweden made the University in the north an easy pick.

“Being a physician, I have always been fascinated by the structure of the Scandinavian welfare system. So, when I chose my specialization and my further education, I wanted to be where it all happens. I wanted to have the Swedish experience first-hand.”

The courses within the master’s programme in Public Health contain a vivid mixture of pragmatic and theoretical studies, and are therefore suited for a multifaceted scholar like Moyukh. As a first priority, he wanted to gain knowledge in research methodologies, epidemiology and health economics. In the semesters that followed, Moyukh also sharpened his knowledge in outcomes research, as well as analysing and registering data – fields in which he later would practice professionally.

“The Swedish education system is built in a way where you deal with the hard, theoretical parts without even comprehending it. Then the rest of the course can be devoted to practical endeavours and free thinking. In comparison, academia in China and Bangladesh is very structured to the point where it is often challenging to think outside of the box. In the later system, you will only produce hardcore analysts.”

Moyukh expands on the subject:
“In my opinion, academia should nurture your soft qualities. All kinds of leadership and management needs to see the bigger picture of their organisations, beyond theoretical challenges and problems.”

Love for schemes and structures

The further Moyukh expands on the subject of medicine, the more obvious is his love for the schemes and structures within the Swedish model – the exhaustive population records, and the high life expectancy and life quality that comes with it.

“Sweden has a system where you as a patient have registries for most health conditions. I cannot think of many other countries which have this kind of preserving, covered registries.”

Moyukh explains how most countries have a healthcare system where a huge chunk of money is coming out of the people's own pockets. Sweden, on the other hand, has a well-structured insurance system, with different kinds of reimbursements.

“This equity is in my opinion the best way of dealing with public health. I want to learn as much as I can about it.”

The future looks bright

Since his second year in early 2018, Moyukh has had recurring jobs as a consultant, mainly evaluating international medical projects for clients, including Umeå University.

Added to that, his master thesis about antibiotic resistance was highlighted at the World Health Summit 2018 in Berlin, naming Moyukh one of the new voices of Global Health. Joining him on the summit’s invitation list were Bill Gates, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, and other big stake holders from Germany and the rest of Europe.

By the end of his course at his last semester at Umeå University in 2018, Moyukh decided to stay in Sweden.

“I want to see how the industry works here – how drug development progresses, how the long term fieldwork studies are done and how the reimbursement process works.”

Today, Moyukh works as a Consultant in Real World Evidence & Health Economic Outcome Research at Scientific Solutions Scandinavia / Reveal in Stockholm, practicing what he learnt throughout the two years he spent studying the master’s programme at Umeå University. And from here, Moyukh can only look forward.

As he so elegantly put it:
“I’ve seen the trailer. Now I want to see the whole movie.”