Extracurricular compassion

By MARY BRANHAM State Journal News Editor Published:

Matt Coldiron is more than just a medical student at Emory University in Atlanta.

"I make sure I stay involved in the community," Coldiron, 25, a 1995 graduate of Franklin County High School, said recently while visiting his mother, Madelynn Coldiron, in Frankfort.

Coldiron is finishing his second year at Emory University Medical School and his second year of involvement in health issues in the Atlanta area. And beyond.

He spent six weeks last summer in Cuba as part of a program called Medical Education in Cooperation with Cuba observing the public health system there. He was one of six people - four medical students and two public health students from across the country - involved in the summer program.

"They have a fabulous health-care system that gives quality health care to everyone," Coldiron said, "an education system that gives everyone a free education. Everyone is pretty well fed. No one is going hungry.

"The cost is a totalitarian state that clamps down on freedom of speech."

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