Onto more recent happenings, I’ve been seriously debating what to do with this blog. I know there are a few people who still read it… lots of people who used to read it and may still again if I get my act together and promote something worth reading on a regular basis. I removed the Rwanda tag because obviously I’m not in Africa anymore. A blog on what medical school is like is not really relevant on a wider scale…
I am currently working as the National Officer of Public Health for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. The merger of medicine and development is my undying interest and conviction – and where most of my mind power funnels. Through this role, I am working on a new program for medical students. For lack of a catchy name, it’s a program linking development workers and medical students interested in international health. A mentorship program where medical students can be educated in internationalism and global health through those who practice it on the ground.
The dilemma that spurred this program is that medical students actually interested in contributing internationally are not educated as to how this dream can become a reality. They are instead somewhat indoctrinated to believe that unless they become specialists in Canada, and most likely conservative ones at that, their career in medicine will lack value and stature. I believe we have had a mere hours on HIV and AIDS. Our malaria lecture was posted on the web, but mysteriously was never actually given in person by a physician. A scary quarter of the class even attended our lecture by the Medical Officer of the Public Health Unit.
There are many of us in the world of medical education that want to learn about what’s happening in the world, and how we can make a valuable contribution with our growing skills. We don’t want rhetoric and superficial discussion.
I have debated collecting the most pertinent conversations on international health between med students and development workers, and publishing them on a site. Would anyone read it though?
The real issue at hand is breaking through the fatigue, the apathy, the barriers that prevent Canadians from developing a real passion, a real interest or knowledge of the plight taking place on this planet. The real issue is the facade of calm, the facade of impenetrability of the North. The feeling and belief of separateness and safety held by our well-off population. My fear is that physicians, and future physicians, can hold so much clout, and yet – the are the worst for believing they are separate, protected and untouchable by poverty, disease or inequality.
And so my search continues in my brain for a way to make us touchable. To make us interested, or at least, to give those interested a means to access the knowledge they need to inspire the rest of us.