Global health has long been a central focus of my personal and academic life and one I continue to deeply engage with through my leadership in both AMSA Global Health and the coordination of Global Health Rounds.
The initial impetus for my passion for global health emerged from my status as the child of immigrant physicians. I am extraordinarily grateful to my parents for the life they have offered me. However, as I aged and took my own steps into medicine, I came to frequently question my responsibility as a beneficiary of a brain drain. Motivated by this, I increasingly wanted to find ways to work in the interest of broader global health equity. In service of this broad objective, I have come to develop the following goals.
I would like to change the perception that conditions like heart disease and cancer are exclusive to the affluent regions of the world. Not only has this long been untrue, but with the advent of globalization, its veracity diminishes all the more rapidly. Though it may seem contradictory, I would at the same time like to have people be more cognizant of the fact the local health is global health with regards to equity of access, racial disparities, and resource distribution. In a more personal sense, I hope to build the skill of successfully helping while not seizing control of others’ goals or destinies through my work in global health. Working in service of these twin objectives has motivated me to find ways of melding my passions for oncology and infectious disease as my career progresses and also solidified my belief that I would be best served as an academic clinician in order to obtain the institutional resources and platform required to do this work as I see best.
Global health has shaped my career ambitions, but it has shaped my values as well. Perhaps the strongest value it has instilled in me is the respect for others’ awareness of their needs. In my work with Globemed, for example, our central mission was to support our partners based on the understanding that they live in the communities with which they work. Having been TB patients themselves, they are best suited to shape the work. Other key values are the inherent equity of all people, health as a human right, and the need for the prioritization of those with the most need, not simple equity. Ultimately, I hope to develop the credibility and skill to impart these approaches and values on to others and proliferate a more ethical means of practicing global health work, both within our own nation and around the world.