NEWS | May 6, 2016

General surgery resident receives Fulbright grant


Laura Goodman, a general surgery resident at UC Davis, has received a 2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to study the surgical needs of children in Mongolia.

Laura Goodman Laura Goodman

This will be Goodman’s second time living and working in Mongolia. It was there that she first decided to become a doctor while volunteering as an English teacher through the Peace Corps.

“It’s an amazing place, but while I was in Peace Corps I felt like I could do much more than teach English,” said Goodman, who was touched by the number of children in Mongolia who had birth defects or experienced trauma but didn’t receive the medical help they needed. “I am excited to go back. It was just a natural choice to do research there when I got the chance. And it is great to be returning with the skills to help address barriers to care.”

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2012, Goodman began her residency at the UC Davis School of Medicine with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon. She chose UC Davis for her training because of its strong reputation in both surgical education and global health, and she is concurrently earning a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. Her MPH research includes characterizing the needs of asylum seekers in Germany so that medical institutions worldwide can provide appropriate care for people fleeing war zones.

“Laura is truly on the path to becoming an excellent surgeon-leader,” said Diana Farmer, one of Goodman’s mentors and chair of the UC Davis Department of Surgery. “She has the passion and the dedication it takes to make huge differences for those whose lives can be transformed with better access to surgical care.”

Goodman is one of nearly 2,000 U.S. citizens who will provide expertise in solving global challenges during the upcoming academic year through Fulbright’s student program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State. Fulbright alumni tend to become leaders in service and achieve many distinctions, including Nobel and Pulitzer prizes. More information is at

Details about UC Davis Department of Surgery, including its global/rural surgery education program, is at