This past summer, Dr. Munch and several students had the opportunity to go on a study abroad trip to Ghana to take Biology 344. Along with this being a class, it was an experience for these students. They were able to help search for the sources of several diseases that have been affecting the people’s health drastically. The three main objectives to going on this trip were to improve Healthcare, economic wealth-fare, and the educational infrastructure.
During Wednesday’s class, we discussed the difficulties that millions of Ghanaians deal with on a daily basis and the perspectives that people have regarding Medical Voluntourism. Dr. Munch and Professor Kennison came in to serve as a source for our curiosity and interest in these topics. Read more
Recently during class we went over the topic of medical volunteerism, which has to do with visiting certain areas in other countries that may not have the same medical resources that there are in the United States and assisting those in need of medical help. We read an article that had to do with medical volunteerism being an issue, due to several ethical and antiseptic reasons. The program allows inexperienced high school students assist people who are in need of medical health and sometimes, that means life or death.
In the blog post, “The Trouble with Medical “Voluntourism””, we learned that there is a program called “Projects Abroad” that allows people whom are at least 16 years of age, “lack prior medical experience and don’t speak the language” to travel and receive experience that people usually get two to five years after medical school. They travel to counties of lower income and developing countries such as, Tanzania, Ghana, Cambodia, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. This program “touts itself as a “Doctors without Borders Alternative.”” The purpose of high school students taking advantage of this opportunity is so that they can begin gathering experience to put on to their resume, so that by the time they apply to medical school they can have a higher chance of getting in.
These students are way more focused on themselves rather than what the opportunity entitles them to do. They take this opportunity as a chance to make themselves look better and prepare for medical school to serve as doctor in the United States. It seems like many students say that they’re doing it for a good cause but in reality it’s to get the experience that they need in order be a top choice for their desired medical school.
There are also ethical and antiseptic issues that take a role when it comes to partaking in this event. According to the blog post, The Trouble with Medical “Voluntourism, the same program, “Projects Abroad” allows students to deliver babies, remove teeth, and even do “unnecessary episiotomies and pulling breech babies”. These all can be dangerous because if you aren’t using the right equipment, cleaning the area of that person’s body with the right items or doing things correctly, that situation can become life or death.
I personally believe that these people shouldn’t allow high school students to take this “opportunity”. No matter how good it looks on their resume for medical school, they are dealing with fragile conditions that others are going through and using it to make themselves look better.
“I have heard that the Masters beat and scourge them most cruelly. But I have not seen anything of the kind, nor do I believe that it occurs very often. For the southern people as class are Noble minded kind hearted people, as can be found in any country…”
I am appalled by the idea that there were people who thought of slaves in such an ignorant manner. It’s as if white people during that time were in denial of the fact that there were enslaved human beings that were treated brutally by the majority of the people that came from the same race and culture. The mentality that is depicted shows that white people thought that everything was fine because so much was completed for them. No matter how the slaves were treated, their lives were filled of contentment due to how well they were treated.
It’s like when we disregard the fact that there are people dying of hunger on a daily basis or other problems going on in the world. But, because we don’t see it or hear enough about it on the news. We continue to live upon our routine on a daily basis because compared to them we’re more than well off. We know its going on but then we start a ton of theories and trust issues, regarding how to donate and trusting certain websites. Sometimes its just people making excuses so that they can escape being a part of a real life issue.
Another analogy would be how a lot of minorities accept the fact that the majority of people that are incarcerated happen to be African American and Latino. We know and accept this statistic or phenomenon because many African American and Hispanic households are affected by this being such a popularly known conversation in certain communities.
I’d honestly even like to compare this to “To kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, where Atticus goes out of his way ( during the 1960s) to protect a black man who was accused of raping a farmers daughter that he worked for. Whether or not you know something is true, it’s your responsibility to cut the curiosity and attempt to find out whats actually happening if you care about social issues or injustices.
-Evelyn J Mendez