If I am being honest I am the epitome of procrastination right now. I am frantically typing my blog posts but I can’t help but to reflect on how this course honestly changed my outlook on medicine. From a very young age I have always wanted to be a doctor. I absolutely idolized doctors, especially my childhood pediatrician. In all honestly I had no idea of any of the atrocities we learned about in Medical Apartheid had taken place. I remember in one of the first classes Max brought up the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment and a lot of my classmates nodded to acknowledge that they were also familiar with it. I had absolutely no idea what that was. It wasn’t until I started reading Medical Apartheid that I learned about the long list of wrongdoings that medical professionals had committed against minority groups, especially the African American community.
I would like to now discuss a few of the largest things that I have taken away from this course. First, the importance of the both/and. Almost every class Professor McCoy brings up “the both/and” and it’s relevance to whatever we are taking about in class that day. Harriet Washington was one of the best examples and using the both/and. If you want your argument to be legitimate you must acknowledge the other side of the argument and the facts surrounding it. If you spend an entire argument ignoring the counterargument you are invalidating yourself.
The second take away I have gotten from this class is the importance of educating about injustices. I am a prime example of someone who did not know about any of the injustices discussed in Medical Apartheid. When we started discussing potential solutions to medical voluntourism every group had stated in their collaborative paragraph that educating was the best way to do it. The only way to prevent something from happening is by educating on why it’s wrong. This also connects to both/and as I discussed earlier. In order to successfully educate someone you need to keep in mind the both/and. Another important thing to remember when you are trying to educate someone is to avoid talking down to them.
The third takeaway from this class is the ability to effectively collaborate. I have worked on many group projects before but they mostly consisted of one person doing most of the work and the other group members just mindlessly following. In most of these cases I was the member who took control of the group. Looking back, no-one was benefiting from that type of collaboration. I can confidently say that this class has taught me how to effectively collaborate. The key to a strong group is all about balance. You have to be able to contribute your ideas but also have to listen to your other group members so you can build off their ideas. Collaboration is key to being able to solve complex issues and will be useful in any career field.