If Not Us, Then Who?

03.13.2011

  This Saturday, the University of Dayton held the University of Dayton/Miami Valley Hospital Health Care Symposium. I was extremely excited when I saw this in my pre-med newsletter in December. I could not wait. The keynote address was delivered by Tracy Kidder, the author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, a book about health care in Haiti that I found highly inspirational. Global Health is something I am passionate about, especially after my service trip two summers ago to Guatemala. 
     The two morning sessions one of my best friends and I attended regarded Global Health. The first session was about how Global Health could be incorporated into your career. This was really interesting because there were two doctors with thriving private practices who went on monthly visits to clinics in different countries. One traveled to Africa on a monthly basis while the other traveled to Honduras. I found this helpful because, ideally, I will be able to do the same thing when I am older and have a career. There was also a lawyer at the presentation who talked about a non-governmental organization he worked for and his role. He showed that, even if you do not want to be a doctor, it does not mean you cannot contribute to Global Health.


     The second session was also interesting and related to Global Health. There was a panel of five doctors, each who started their own non-for-profit organizations that strive to better Global Health. One of the doctors started an organization during his residency that holds an annual bike ride across the United States. Another doctor established a foundation that provides medical attention to those in the Congo, an area that is in great turmoil due to fighting. Yet another doctor travels to a clinic in Zambia where he helps out on a monthly basis through an organization he created.


     I was most struck by the fact that one of the presenters included the phrase “If Not Us, Then Who?” in his presentation. This was poignant because it was the motto of the organization that sponsored my mission trip to Guatemala. The symposium solidified my desire to bring medical care to those who need it most, whether they are in the United States or across an ocean. The presenters gave me hope that it can be done. If we don’t do it, then who will?