From Skepticism to Hope: Turning Dark Profits into Enlightened Transformation
I’ve been a doctor now for 13 (lucky) years but I recently had the opportunity to reflect on my path towards becoming a physician and my involvement in global health. In 2005 I was a somewhat frustrated graduating medical student, when I wrote an article called Dark Profits? Med Schools Cash in on Global Health Programs. It was at a time when it seemed that all the ideals I believed in were coming crashing down and that like-minded allies were hard to find.
I eventually found Child Family Health International (CFHI) and the larger movement for social and financial justice in global health education, which reaffirmed that many in the field are pursuing global health equity in a way that honors both the Global North and the Global South. Importantly, it was all by a means that are financially transparent and ‘above board,’ unlike what I alluded to in my 2005 article.
Today, as we delve into the new year, I am excited by the enthusiasm of the increasing number of schools and universities that approach CFHI to form Academic Partnerships, many of whom are drawn to the model of just global health engagement and education that CFHI embodies. I have come full circle and now feel embraced by the global health education community, rather than feeling like a renegade. Despite my progressive viewpoints, I have moved from being a young idealist to a paradigm shifter, with many allies including CFHI who share similar views on prioritizing local communities, sustainability, and striving towards equity in global health.
A month into 2013 I want to wish you all a happy New Year! I encourage everyone to stick to their passions and ideals and let others sensibilities catch up with you—this is quite superior to conforming to the status quo for conformity’s sake. Here’s to a wonderful 2013 filled with growth and learning. Let the world change you!