Students and faculty from the schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy shared their global health care experiences during the second annual International Health Care Day, renamed from International Medicine Day to reflect its interdisciplinary participation, on April 16 at the School of Medicine.
“International health is one of the best areas where interdisciplinary education can occur,” said Stuart Munro, M.D., chair of the new Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences, and head of the UMKC School of Medicine International Medicine Committee.
Henry Lin, M.D., ’06, an advanced fellow in pediatric transplant hepatology at Northwestern was the keynote speaker. Lin focused on ways to assess the sustainability of short-term medical mission trips and shared his experiences in the Dominican Republic, where he has volunteered every year since 2006.
“How do you balance the need to develop sustainability, and we have this growing volunteer population,” Lin said. “We need to promote the populations (we are visiting) to become independent.”
Lin has formed an interdisciplinary team, which has morphed throughout the years, attracting members from throughout the United States and Canada to travel with him to the Dominican Republic.
“What we’re trying to do is figure out, is there a way that we can shift the balance of benefits toward the global community,” Lin said.
Four SOM students and one faculty member were presenters. Apurva Bhatt, MS 3, Rucha Kharod, MS 5, and Raza Hasan, MS 5 each spoke about their trips to India for an infectious disease rotation. Matt Goers, MS 6, community coordinator for Partners in Health (PIH), presented his experiences overseas and his involvement in the PIH Engage Initiative. Charlie Inboriboon, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, spoke about his experiences in teaching and supporting students in trips abroad. Inboriboon came to the School last year from the University of Rochester, which is known for its focus on global medicine. His research interests include emergency medicine development in Thailand, integrating global health and medical education and qualitative, community-based participatory research.
All of the day’s presenters shared common benefits of international health care experiences including, learning, opening their eyes to new cultures and ways of life, and hoping for long-term aid in the places they visited.
Lin said he was reminded of a quote from Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, but actually working together is success.” Lin said, “For all of us who are invested in doing community development, global health work, that’s the key, ‘are we actually working together?’”