1. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Third World Countries

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Delvonik, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is probably a thread already started concerning this.If there is,I'm apologize to the webmaster who has to clean this up.

    I was wondering,what programs are there ,if any, to allow doctors to and others from other countries to visit or take up residence in a third world country.I've thought about this and perhaps I'm just one of those young,naive students who wants to save the world.Perhaps all doctors start out like this and then they fade back into reality.Has anyone here ever visited a third world country on a medical mission and how one can go about setting up a medical practice in Rwanda or Sudan.I can see you now once you read this thread,laughing at some foolish dream I have and how you've heard it all before.

    I've also considered sponsoring a child through dertain organizations.I won't say their exact names but it rhymes with Morld Mision.Has anyone ever had a child sponsor and visited themI've heard it's just a scam and that the children you sponsor get very little food.I'm considering sponsorship even though I have very little money as a student.

    As well,how could I set up a medical clinic in Rwanda or some other place.Theirs probably alot of government relations stuff to go through.This would mean,for me,no money,awful food,no electricity,toilet paper(or toilets),carpet or bed.And I'm not doing this for any sort of fame.(That is if I actually get into med school,I'm really getting ahead of myself here).If my name disappears and no one remembers my name,not even those I cure it wouldn't matter as long as I helped one person or prevented one of those unfortunate people.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. great north

    great north Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yours are not foolish dreams by any means rather an affirmation of what medicine truely is, namely self-sacrifice for the betterment of others, and not the incessant lure of dead presidents and german engineering! Furthermore, never let yourself be swayed by others in this profession, some of whom have lost their humanity or had little to begin with, as to them medicine was a means to acquire a title and a comfortable living.
    My personal suggestion is to consider working with a non-governmental organization, the one that comes to mind is Doctors Without Borders, where you would likely see first hand how health care in the third world is like and what infra-structure is lacking and how best to utilize what capital you may have available.
    However, all this can be done only after your schooling, including residency and once you have a means of supporting yourself and perhaps even your own family, you can't be a volunteer all your days. Yet some physicians/surgons work and aid hundreds even thousands while supporting their own families when working in third world nations. Naturally, in this case you ought to contact the given embassy and discuss your objectives...and always keep an eye open for government corruption.

    All the best.
     
  4. S.c. Cdc28p

    S.c. Cdc28p Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Such a dream is of course not foolish but admirable. We need people like you.

    Established organizations such as Medicins sans Frontieres and Doctors of the World might provide the opportunities you're looking for. But there are countless avenues out there for you to explore, I'm sure, from working under the umbrella of the World Health Organization to cooperating with some existing NGO to founding your own public service enterprise.

    Sponsoring a child is a wonderful thing. I have friends who work for Save the Children and haven't heard of anything about their misusing the money designated for the children. I myself is a co-founder and director of an NGO that raises funds to sponsor kids in a third-world country, and I can tell you that I work my ass juggling that completely voluntary job and med school in order to make sure that ALL the money goes to the kids. (My NGO is at www.viethope.org)

    Again, hold dear to those wonderful dreams. Even if you can't make all of them come true, you will make some come true and, in the process, make a difference in the lives of the people you work with.
     
  5. alina_s

    alina_s Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Not to be horribly cynical, but it is important to very carefully investigate governmental and non-governmental aid orgranizations before making any kind of commitment. I am also interested in international health work. I think that it would be nearly impossible to set out immediately after residency and start my own clinic but I am very wary of aid organizations. As a Peace Corps survivor, I am fairly certain that the program staff at site and in Washington had many goals that were more important than the efificacy of volunteers or assistance provided to the locals. Their goals may not have anything to do with assisting local development. The same is unfortunately true of many NGO's; read The Road to Hell, by Michael Maren, or Lords of Poverty, by Graham Hancock. Another problem is that even with the best of intentions, a poorly planned project can do more harm than good. There is often no such thing as an entirely neutral party, so providing humanitarian aid is unwittingly taking sides in a conflict- read Philip Gourevitch's We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. Best of luck but go in with your eyes wide open.
     
  6. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 1999
    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    There are many areas in the US that are very underserved and also in need of talented, dedicated people. Have you considered staying in the US?
     
  7. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for the advice.This should give me some guidence for the future.Although I'm still struggling over whether or not to apply to med school after,I appreciate all your thoughts on this issue.

    And as for settling down in the USA I'd like to travel there but I just don't see me living there longterm.Even so,my own province has a shortage of physicians as it is.I'm not sure what the ratio would be,but there's presently about 550,000 people on this island and about 930 doctors.Most of them cling to the capital,leaving the smaller communities,(I'm talking really small,maybe only 100 people),are very isolated and are dying off for a number of reasons,including little or no healthcare.Some of them have old,ailing populations and some refuse to be relocated.

    I'm not up to date on this issue,so I apologize if anyone thinks I've been inaccurate.
     
  8. me109cito

    me109cito Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0

    As someone who grew up in a third world country I would also like to travel and do some humanitarian work for those less fortunate. I agree with one of the above posters about there being some underserved populations here in the US but, IMHO they are not as underserved compared to people in africa, latin america and southeast asia.
     
  9. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    At my school (in Ireland), they really encourage us as med students to do an elective or two in third world countries. There's always people on the streets collecting money for the needy in third world countries too. You might want to check out an organization called One World. I'm thinking of doing my elective in South Africa. I'm sure there's some sort of program where you can actually work there for an extended amount of time (living there, i mean). You might want to contact universities and hospitals in your country of interest directly to see if they can point you in the right direction, or contact the American embassies in those countries.
     
  10. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 1999
    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    The reason why I suggested working in an underserved area of the US is because I have seen too many people going into a country where the person has no personal connection for the sake of that person's own agrandizement. At least, if you are from the US, you do have some personal connection.

    Why do you want to go to a third world country in particular? Do you have some personal connection to the people of that country, such as an ancestor, having lived there before, missionary work, or even just a love of the architecture? There are many valid reasons why people want to work in different countries, but everyone should really consider what their own reasons are. What are YOU getting out of being there? Are you serving your own hubris or the people?
     
  11. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    Actually, if you read Delvonik's last post - it's clear that s/he isn't from the US.
    I think many people involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid find it to be an intensely rewarding and challenging experience, and one that folks tend to continue to pursue throughout their healthy, productive years. Many of the docs I work with do annual or semiannual relief trips to other countries, none of which they had prior connections with. To characterized the sacrifice in personal time, income potential, risks to personal health and emotional well being that these folks perform as 'hubris' would be untrue, as well as unkind.
     
  12. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well,actually I don't have a connection like you said.My ancestors are from England and Ireland,not third world countries.As for architecture in third world countries....what architecture.Aside from brush huts and clay houses most places have little buildings.I mean there are exceptions like momunemts and ruins.

    But the only issue here is that people in third world countries just need it.People die of hunger and simple diseases.There are other doctors in the USA and Canada.But in other countries....well,needless to say there's considerably less.When countries spend billions on war machines and space rockets,while other people die of starvation and leprosy,something ain't right.So doing this involves helping humans who otherwise wouldn't recieve help.

    And besides why would I have a connection or cause to go to the United States?That doesn't seem to make much sense.I think I could do more for people in a third world country.
     
  13. S.c. Cdc28p

    S.c. Cdc28p Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems that the post implies that serving one's own hubris by working in a third-world country is a bad thing. Heck, I would not mind at all if more people would serve their hubris that way...
     
  14. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry,seems we've reached a misunderstanding.I'm from Newfoundland.Which is a province of Canada,which is north of the United States,in the Western Hemisphere,Earth.....Which is in the Milky Way which is in the Virgo Supercluster...which you'll find in the Universe.

    Hope that straightens everything out.
     
  15. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops.I guess helping people for the sake of helping people has become unfashionable.

    Annette,I know you meant well,but I'm not doing any kind of self-serving.I haven't even started med school yet but if I do go to a third-world country in won't be for fame.Doing something for others just to make yourself feel good should be your number 1 priority.
     
  16. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
    15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Messages:
    804
    Likes Received:
    3
    The answer to your original question is yes, there are many opportunities to serve in less developed countries. Things to consider are language (learn a 2nd one) and debt. You must somehow manage your medical school debts while working abroad.

    Your motivations to work in a LDC are noble, and I encourage you to pursue them if you wish. The poverty and health care needs of the poorest of the poor in Canada, USA, and Europe do not compare to the extreme needs of areas of Africa, Central/South America, and India.

    Good luck.
     
  17. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 1999
    Messages:
    1,446
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Sorry for missing the part of not being from the US. I still think connections are important.

    Unfortunately, there ARE places in the US that are more desperate for medical care than some places in the third world. I also understand that many rural places of Canada are desperate for doctors.

    I have seen too many instances of people "helping" other people only to serve themselves. I was suckered into a "painting in the projects" project. Most of the people truely wanted to help other people, but there were a smug few who did it only to make themselves feel better. One person commented in front of the people who lived in the apartments something along the lines, "Wow, we've done alot today to help these poor people feel better about their living conditions." This person wasn't helping, she was using the "poor people's" condition to make herself feel better. She had absolutley no respect for the people who lived in the projects. I have also seen a number of doctors and nurses who have come down to the third world country where I went to school. Some of them also lacked basic respect.

    Delvonik, if you are worried that someone thinks serving in the third world is unfashionable, then you definately should consider a different place! How would you like someone to come to your community because someone thought it was lacking? And then, treated your community as just a means to make him/herself feel good? I doubt you would appreciate the lack of respect.

    Examine your reasons. If you truely only want to help, then wonderful. I wish you all the best!
     
  18. me109cito

    me109cito Membership Revoked
    Removed

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0

    In my case, my roots are in a thirld world country. Also I get the feeling that people are more appreciative of things in third world countries compared to the US. Here people expect and demand that their medical needs be taken care of and they take it for granted. Other less fortunate would appreciate my efforts more which to me would be very rewarding.
     
  19. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    You didn't really think I cared about wether or not doing this would make me popular,did you?That was sarcsm.It's a good thing I didn't say anything else...
     
  20. care bear

    care bear pink fuzzy user
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    0
    to the OP:
    hi,
    i'm a child sponsor with "Morld Mision" and have been one for years. its a pretty cheap committment (half my cell phone bill!) and yes, you do get to hear from your child, see pictures, etc.
    they are a *great* organization, particularly if you are Christian b/c they are very Christ-centered and also pretty efficient.
    pm me if you want to know more, or check out their website, i think it's www.worldvision.org
    hope this helps!
    :)
     
  21. lumanyika

    lumanyika Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2000
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Delvonik: I'm pleased to see that there's another person with similar goals (as far as practicing medicine in 3rd world countries) other than me:clap: We should talk.....:cool:
    I was born and grew up in a third world country (Kenya). I worked with an organization known as Africa Medical Research Foudation (AMREF)...as one of the posters said, "it's all about networking" I served as a co-pilot in their outreach program (this is a porgram where doctors do locum work and are flown to different underserved areas of East Africa--Rwanda included :D ). I've always had a love for medicine and flying and incorporating both is my dream (so I'm here in the US taking care of the medicine part of things :) ).
    my aunt was and still is the outreach coordinator and she put in a good word for me and they also had a pilot shortage among other things.I got to see quite interesting cases and doctors having to improvise and veer from convention in order to save a life (no german technology !!):D which bolstered my aspirations to no end. we once had a medical evacuation involving a guy who was in some tribal clashes and had an arrow sticking out of his head. I mean this guy was fully conscious, talking and had complete control of his body movements...naturally, I was like "whoa". apart from the arrow, the only thing he complained about was dehydration:eek:
    ok so much for the war stories...you can check out http://www.amref.org/ ] AMREF [/url] and email them any questions you might have. I'm sure they'll be happy to help you out. oh! bytheway, a lot of medical students from Kenyan medical schools and from other schools around the world choose to take electives through AMREF and enjoy it.Don't give up your dream. we need more people like you. ONE
     
  22. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually,lately,I've been thinking about being a freelance writer instead.Of course I could always do both.And even if I didn't become a physician I'd still go to third world countries.
     
  23. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    How about an actress? No......wait.....an ASTRONAUT!

    You're killing me.... :rolleyes:
     
  24. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    I think I'm detecting some hubris going on....

    Annette, could we have a little help here? :p
     
  25. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    ***For Future Referance,I'm a guy!***


    No offense,but it doesn't seem like afew of u know what hubris means...It's a scornful or condescending sort of pride.I don't understand how whatever the heck I said got tied up with that.
     
  26. womansurg

    womansurg it's a hard life...
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sorry, dear. It's a joke.

    See, you started this thread about your desire to pursue humanitarian medical aid. Annette was skeptical about your true dedication (gee, wonder where she got that idea...), which she attributed to 'hubris'. This prompted a flurry of responses in which people defended you and went to great lengths to research opportunities for you to look into.

    You then respond with this (unintentionally) hilarious post, demonstrating how completely flighty and unsubstantiated your interest in being a physician truly is, much less one who devotes himself to relief efforts.

    This took us back to Annette and her initial (and valid, it turns out) suspicions about you. Hence the reference to 'hubris'. It's a long reach, I know.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.
    -ws
     
  27. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh,now I get it.I didn't pick-up on people defending we or whatever but I get the point I guess.But now I've decided to be an inventor or a peace keeper or the Prime Misister or an airline pilot,lol,just kidding,of course.

    I've also developed a series of plans to take over the world and become a dictator.All the plans came from a series called Pinky and the Brain.It's about a pair of genetically altered lab mice who try to take over the world.I've never seen the endings so I'm not sure if they actually suceed or not,but I'm willing to bed that they do.

    First I'm going to clone myself and become a meterologist,writer,pilot,actor,comedian and doctor all at the same time.Then I will invent some sort of machine to make me all the same person again but that doesn't work I'll just instruct the other clones to commit suicide.I will gain influence in society and culture to such a degree that I will name a soft drink after myself.Then I'll start a chain letter scheme and mutate all the politicians into mice and toads.After that I will hire some women,begin an escort service,maybe a cult or two and an insurance company,(all relativly the same type of company.)I don't know how that will make me become world dictator but stranger things have happened.

    If this doesn't work I'll just have to go back to my awful "averagly interesting" life and cause my peers to get brain anurisms.

    MWA HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA.
     
  28. Delvonik

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Likes Received:
    0
    In any case I think my desire to be a physician was probably motivated towards this cause.I just didn't think about the fact that I could do this without becoming a physician.I was 'good' at the sciences in high school but not overly interested in them as a career.As more experienced people,I guess you've all seen younger people be 'ify' about their careers,but maybe not as much as me.

    If I can't sustain a desire for medicine,I may furthur still decide on something other than writing.When I look around the room I can't really see the scienctific and elemental parts but rather a comglomerate of stories and descriptions :( Oh well,I guess that doesn't matter. So,uh what else can we talk about?
     
  29. secretwave101

    secretwave101 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    15
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Delvonik,

    You might be interested in the medical program at Ben Gurion Univ. in Israel. It's a collaboration with Columbia U in NY and specifically emphasizes Intl. Health and Medicine.

    I'm in the program, so I'm biased. But many, if not most, of the students are here because of reasons you outlined. The program requires an international rotation during 4th year. They have 4 official sites set up (Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Nepal) that you can choose from...or you can set up your own.

    Each year they hold seminar/courses on various topics such as: Poverty and Health, Nutrition in the 3rd World, Disaster Relief, Intl. aid organizations and many others. Each class is taught by experts either locally or they are flown in.

    Link below. Program isn't for everyone, but sounds like you might be interested.

    http://cait.cpmc.columbia.edu:88/dept/bgcu-md/
     
  30. jot

    jot

    lumanyika,
    where in kenya did you grow up? i was raised in nairobi - in southseas/westlands area - i'm planning to go back there this summer - its been a few years - its expensive to get out there! amref sounds pretty awesome - i've wanted to fly a plane for a while now :D and i am definately planning to spend some time in kenya in a health oriented capacity. cool to see another keenyan out there;)

    -jot
     
  31. lumanyika

    lumanyika Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2000
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey jot,
    I lived in South-C and later in Langata. both places were close to Wilson airport (where I did most of my flying). I'm glad to see another kenyan SDNer... :clap:
    yeah, tickets are expensive...you might want to check with Ethiopian Airlines. they sometimes have good/reasonable rates. during the summer season.I'll be going back home, but not anytime soon (school is keeping me busy). although when I do go, one of my goals is to establish a practice/program specifically aimed at treating spinal trauma in underserved regions of kenya. did you know that Kenya has about 5 fellowship trained neurosurgeons :confused:? I'm hoping to establish good networks with other like minded individuals, but it's all been in vain :(..........maybe one day I'll find a group of competent physicians who share the same goals as I do and get the ball rolling.enough of my babbling.later.

    ONE.
     

Share This Page