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Opening a Center to meet Needs: Pls help!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Simran1031, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    This is very random and perhaps 10 to 15 yrs premature for me to even be thinking about this but I have a question for all of you. In the future, I envision building a center in a rural area in Nepal or S. Africa, and I have no idea how much the land, resources and labor would all cost? I basically am eventually looking to build a center that houses a primary clinic, a pharmacy, a school, a career empowerment center, a recreation/community center, library, and a computer room. The specifics of this center are still rough in my mind but where would I get an idea of how much materials would cost and so forth. I am currently focusing on taking the MCATs in May but when I am thinking of my future dreams..I just want to know how feasible this would be and how much money I should start saving for such a project...I am sorry if this is totally out the left field..but any help/advice on this matter would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Joannavr

    Joannavr Customer Disservice
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    Don't bother thinking a dozen years ahead about building and property costs in a foreign country, especially a particularly undevloped area. So many things could change between now and then politically and financially in their country and ours that the exchange rates, building materials, zoning laws, and even possibility of getting permission to purchase their land that it it entirely impossible to project now.
     
  4. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    I strongly recommend these books by folks who have set up foundations in developing nations.

    1. Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson
    - Mortenson has been building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan for maybe 20 yrs. Incredible book.

    2. Mountains beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
    - This is a biography of Paul Farmer, who has set up hospitals in a bunch of different countries, and his model was adopted as the national public health system in Rwanda. If you can stomach his academic writing, read Farmer's books as well (such as Infections and Inequalities).
    - Also read everything on www.pih.org, which is Farmer's org.

    3. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, by John Wood
    - Another memoir of a guy who bailed on his fat corporate job to start a foundation that brought books and schools to Nepal. OK book.

    Take a look at the websites for aid organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and International Medical Corps. They have blogs by doctors, and briefings of what they require of their volunteers.

    Look for opportunities during med school to volunteer and/or do rotations in developing nations. It's mandatory to experience low/no resource settings where mosquitoes, water and heat can kill you and you can't charge your iPod, before you even think about living in such a setting.

    Also think hard about acquiring a useful second or third language. Spanish, for instance, isn't very helpful in Nepal. I recommend French, and then expect to need to also learn a local language.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  5. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    I will definitely look into those books! I am currently reading mountains beyond mountains..and his infections and inequalities is next on my list. i spent the first 11 yrs of my life in nepal so I know the language fluently and having lived in a developing country i am not as worried about living there. i just want to make sure that whatever i do work on meets the needs of the community..based on what the community members think their needs are and not what i see them to be. but thank u for your great feedback. i can speak newari too which is another dialect in nepal which may prove to be helpful..and I can undertand bengali and can speak it broken..and i can speak hindi fluently so I think if i consider india that may work too..its so far but i just want to start thinking! =)
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    In general the difficulty setting up in a third world nation has less to do with cost of land or labor and more to do with going through the political channels. Which means you often have to raise fairly significant funds to "pay off" the local government before you can begin to worry about purchasing the resources. Also bear in mind that in very rural parts of underdeveloped nations, you may not have access to power or water/plumbing, so you are really going to be starting from scratch on these resources. So eg a "computer room" may be an impossibility unless you are planning to first build a power source, etc. And a career empowerment center might be meaningless in a nation with no potential careers -- you have to unamericanize your thinking processes because most of the options folks here have don't exist in some places.

    Unless you happen to be a multi-millionaire philanthropist on your own, and ready to part with most of your money, it probably pays to just link up with one of the existing international medical aid groups, such as doctors without borders, who have their own funding and have already made inroads in various third world locations. You could go work with them for a while after med school, and do some good far earlier in your career than you would be able to set up something you describe. I also note that since big money is involved in setting up what you describe, I think we aren't talking about something 10-15 years down the road (ie just when you are getting started in post-residency practice), but more like 30 years down the road. So I think it's really premature to try and plan that far ahead because some of these nations might not even be around by then.
     
  7. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    thanks for your advice. i see what you are saying. and obviously i realize my plan is at a very amateur stage right now. and yes this would def. be in 30 years and not 10-15. and in terms of career empowerment center..i intend to work on something more towards microfinance and ways to work on community sustainability and not so much the career empowerment we have in the US. your feedback is definitely making me realize i have far more things to consider. but I do have 30 years to think about it! =) and doctors without borders has also been on my mind..but i guess the center has always been a dream of mine..
     
  8. hippocraticoath

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    :troll:

    Eye roll here. You haven't even taken the MCATs, how do you know that you're not going to score a 19 and flunk out of the carribbean's? Besides that, you don't even need to be a physician to do this. Have you tried serving with the Peace Corp or volunteering in NOLA first? Act locally first.
     
  9. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    i know i wont get a 19 on the mcats. i will do very well in fact. and no i won't flunk out of the carribean. i feel that you are being very rude, but besides, I just wanted to see what people's ideas were in terms of reading material. I believe with certainty that one day I will have my own clinic in the way I envision it, and your disbeleif in it is inconsequential to me. However, I do wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and I am actually sorry that your experiences have made you such a pessimist.
     
  10. hippocraticoath

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    This is coming from someone who scored a 22 and a 23 on the MCAT after studying since sophmore year - so a 19 wouldn't be that far off the mark. You have to get in first, and the fact that you're thinking about opening a clinic even though you have no prior experience and before you've even been accepted to medical school tells me that you lack focus and foresight.

    However, no hard feelings. People don't like being told that their ideas are bizzare and unrealistic, in your case, I think you need to get your head out of the clouds first.
     
  11. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    i know i have scored a 22 before. but that does not mean i cannot get a good score on the mcats. like i said, you can believe whatever you like and I will continue to hold on to my dreams and achieve them all successfully.
     
  12. dragonfly99

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    You need to keep your focus on academics right now. You need to grab for that brass ring (med school) and not get too distracted by things that are far in the future. Work on getting that MCAT score up into the high 20's hopefully, and then you can achieve what you are going for. There are several medical schools that have students and faculty interested in international work, so you can work from there once you get there.

    To start a clinic would probably require $50,000 plus just to get it started, and then an annual operating budget. Probably you are talking about needing $100k or so. It's not really a one-person project unless you are filthy rich.

    http://lwalacommunityalliance.org/ Two US medical students who hail from Kenya managed to start a medical clinic in their small village in rural Kenya.
    http://www.bridgestocommunity.org/
    accepts groups of med students and physicians to volunteer in Nicaragua

    It's great that you speak other languages and have lived in a different country. You should definitely include those things in your medical school application when the time comes, since it's something that makes you unique.
     
  13. Simran1031

    Simran1031 Princess of 2014=)
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    thank you dragonfly. i am focused right now. but having the dream does help me hang on. and have hope. studying currently for the may mcat and devoting the next few months solely to it. thank you for those helpful links and the price ranges. you are very resourceful!
     
  14. murfettie

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    parachute development projects are so stupid! (not yours.. just my general comments about a lot of foundation work)
    (i worked development)
    - secure consistent funding
    - integration into local community
    sometimes you don't need fancy nice facilities, because sometimes, fancy nice facilities scare people.
    - if you lived in a foreign country (i did too til my teenage years), start getting connections. handshakes are very very important.
     

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