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The Future of Global Medicine

The Future of Global MedicineAn innovative program at Tufts is preparing a new generation of internationally-focused doctors. St. Petersburg, Russia.

Boston [07.10.01] While he's still in training for his medical degree, few doctors around the world can match Matthew LeMaitre's experience. At just 33 years old, he's already taught English in a Siberian town, sold real estate to western businessmen in Moscow and built Avon's Cosmetics' Russian operation from scratch.

Now, LeMaitre is training to add a few more skills to his already impressive resume -- physician and diplomat.

"LeMaitre was accepted into a unique program at Tufts University in Massachusetts, through which he will receive both a degree in medicine and international relations ... after only five years of study," reported Russia's St. Petersburg Times.

Just a few years old, the joint degree program offers students the opportunity to earn a MD from Tufts' Medical School and a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

For LeMaitre, who has spent many years living and working in Russia, the Tufts program was a great opportunity.

"This is the perfect way to combine my two interests," the Tufts student told the Russian newspaper. "Because basically the thing that led me to medicine was working abroad."

And LeMaitre's experiences in that area are impressive.

While selling real estate in Moscow during Russia's booming economy, LeMaitre was constantly meeting Western businessmen who wanted to hire him to help them get started in the country.

"I got offers left and right," he said in the Times article. "I got to see from the inside how the economy was exploding at that time."

Then opportunity knocked. Avon Cosmetics asked LeMaitre to head up its Russian division.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, "LeMaitre built Avon's Russian operation from the ground up, using basic business techniques in a market that was almost void of consumer goods like cosmetics."

His work resulted in a network spanning 80 cities -- Avon could hardly keep up with the demand in Russia.

But LeMaitre told the newspaper that he wanted to change his focus -- so he enrolled in the Tufts program. He plans to combine his business experience with the international relations and medical training he's getting at Tufts.

"It's where I want to go with medicine after I graduate from medical school," he said in the article. Eventually, he may return to Russia once again, this time as a doctor.

"I want to come to a place where they otherwise wouldn't have a Western standard of medical care and bring it to them -- [and] all roads keep leading back to Russia," he said.

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