I’m attending the Global Health Education Consortium conference in Sacramento, California for the weekend, along with another representative from the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. I sit on the GHEC Board as a student member.
This conference has been life-changing for me – without exaggeration. My eyes opened to innovative health professional education as a tool to providing care to those who need it. This concept has never been more pertinent given the health workforce crisis, and members of the GHEC board are on the cutting edge of this discussion. Do we need more doctors? Perhaps not. Do we need centralized medical training, actual campuses? Perhaps not. Can communities decide who they wish to train as healthcare providers? Yes – and it’s the model of medical education in the Philippines, for example.
A new breed of health care provider is being suggested, and it is captivating. I will blog about this more within the weekend, when I can do it justice.
On a more disturbing note, I’d like to share a generational message.
Today I presented a poster about the International Health Mentorship Project that was well received. Except, an older gentleman who works for a NGO (that shall remain nameless) took twenty minutes of his time to lecture me on the fundamentals of global health. Assuming of course, that because I am young and female, I must be daft. There is a pandemic of older people lecturing younger people, underestimating their knowledge, abilities and ideas. There is a pandemic of interrupting, boasting personal accomplishments, name and country dropping.
Let us focus on the task at hand: the provision and creation of health for all. Let us, at least briefly, clear our minds of seeking self-promotion opportunities and listen to one another rather than tripping over our egos. Young people are vibrantly engaged and we’re listening to you. Lets have a mutually beneficial conversation.