When we were in class talking about medical “voluntourism” it was easy for my classmates and I who were clustered up to talk about how absurd this idea might be. Even reading it, it seems crazy, that a retired police officer was performing circumcisions and delivering babies in these countries that “need it”. Now if you keep reading you learn that it is not really about going to a place that was in dire need of this assistance, but more about the volunteers coming in for their own needs, their need for something good on a resume. Throughout this article we learn the extent of this “help” and see that it really does more harm than good, and all for what? So some 16-year-old can write that they were able to be a midwife in Costa Rica?
Like I said, my classmates and I found this entire article to be a little wild, that you can do something so drastic without being a professional in the field, let alone not even in a graduate program for that field. In class we used words like “them”, that how weird it is that “they” would do something so wild without thinking of the repercussions. It is easy for our class to find this article so wild because we have already gotten into our college, but we probably would not have always looked at this article with the same eyes we do not. Lets say we heard about companies like GapMedics just our years ago, the odds of us all still seeing this as a “they” problem would be low. Take for instance their website. When you go onto gapmedics.com you find this “If you’re a current or aspiring pre-health student looking to gain experience or insight into global health, you’ve come to the right place. Gap Medics provides year-round, hospital-based medical internship shadowing programs abroad to students from all over the world. Our overseas programs take you behind the scenes of your future career and help you form a mature understanding of your passion for healthcare when it comes time for your medical school applications and interviews.” How could you not find this interesting after reading this?
I remember when I was starting to think about applying for colleges. Even just the idea of it brings me back to that girl walking around the club fair, signing up for anything and everything that might set me apart from my classmates. That day I signed up for eight different clubs. Forgetting the fact that I cared very little about half of them, I knew that seeing this “drive” towards community service and activism would probably make me seem like a much better student that I was. So, if I was at my high schools club fair and there was a person there telling me that I could go behind the scenes into the healthcare world so that I will be better prepared for my interviews and application, I know that I probably would not be using words like “them” but instead “us”. It really makes you think about the idea of how much good does doing “good” actually do?