Rawlings' headshot is laid over a yellow-tinted collage of him scrubbing in for surgery and volunteering in Colombia. A blue Global Aggies watercolor border lines the bottom.

UC Davis School of Medicine Student Advances One Health Coalition to Promote Interdisciplinary Action

Rawlings Lyle is a fourth-year medical student working towards a Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research at the UC Davis School of Medicine. With an emphasis in dermatology and wound healing, Lyle has an extensive background in the medical field and wants to use his knowledge to promote global health worldwide.

Given his interests and background, Lyle became involved with the One Health Institute, which works at the interface of animals, people and the environment to solve complex health and conservation challenges.

Expertise and Interest in Wildfires

Raised in Southern Oregon, Rawlings comes from a family of industrious individuals with a wealth of expertise in combatting wildfires. Building on this unique history, one of Lyle’s most memorable global experiences was directing a One Health coalition on the impact of wildfires. Combining the three main areas of One Health, he led an engaging talk that covered how wildfires can affect humans, animals, and the environment. In addition to discussing his family’s role in wildfire protection, Lyle moderated a panel of experts in the field who went further in-depth into areas like evacuation, response to livestock, and the social determinants of wildfires.

“Forest fires are very real for us. Having to evacuate your home is something that has happened to my family multiple times. It’s an area that I was passionate about but it’s also something that globally affects multiple communities.” 

Photos of panel discussants who participated in the wildfire panel at the Global Health Symposium last November.

From Wildfires to Wound Healing

His specialty in wound healing, including burn victims, brings an additional personal element to his work and commitment to One Health. Originally interested in pediatric oncology, Lyle discovered his passion for wound healing while completing his third year of clinical rotations. Standing in on a burn surgery, he realized how deeply he cared about patients battling significant scars, burns, and wounds.

Rawlings stands alongside Raul in Shriners Children's Hospital.
Shriners Children’s Hospital, CA. Rawlings stands alongside Raul, a burn patient who was life-flighted to Sacramento from Mexico.

“Through my training, I recognized that you can only do so much with a scalpel and that many of these patients needed someone who cared about them beyond the table. And who could see them and actually talk to them about what life is like at home.”

While working at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, Lyle worked with a burn patient who had been life-flighted to Sacramento from Mexico after sustaining serious injuries and burns in a house explosion. Combining his initial interest in pediatrics with his dermatology specialty, Lyle has a deep devotion and care for his patients that is reflected through his experiences with One Health. 

Global Engagement in a Changing Landscape

Although Lyle’s global health opportunities with UC Davis were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this did not stop him from creating meaningful change and fostering the relationships needed to pursue a successful medical career. Recalling his two-year experience as a service and religious missionary in Colombia, he touched on how impactful this was and the close bond he developed with the continent and people of South America.

“Working with South America has been a really important aspect of my life. I will always be connected to it in many ways.”

Noting the need to provide further outreach toward Pan-American countries, Lyle acknowledged how One Health has given him the tools needed to move forward and recognize that global health can be pursued anywhere. With over one hundred countries represented at the symposium, modern technology has allowed the world to become increasingly interconnected and opens incredible doors of opportunity for growth. Lyle remarked, “You don’t have to be off trekking through another country to make a difference.”

Rawlings stands with nine children in Ipiales, Colombia.
Ipiales, Colombia. Lyle helped find support for nine children.

Additionally, when asked what advice he would give his fellow Aggies interested in global experiences, Lyle was adamant about stating that you can do something now. While a degree and title may look nice, he conceded that ability is what matters. “The people who actually make a difference are those who act. The people who do.”

Rawlings stands wearing scrubs in an operation room.
Lyle before scrubbing into a surgery.

UC Davis provides a range of resources to help students take action. Taking advantage of these opportunities himself, Lyle is an active member of the Global Impact Fellows Program, where he serves as a project lead for the One Health Symposium. Illustrating how global experiences can manifest within one's community, Lyle epitomizes the ability to magnify small actions into something much bigger.

As Lyle progresses toward earning the title of Doctor, he continues to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement in all those he encounters. A true “Global Aggie,” his dedication to promoting global health, evident through his leadership in organizing the One Health Symposium, showcases the impact one individual can have on a global scale.

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