Dr. Mamdouh Aker is a very big deal in Palestine, the kind of man everyone knows and respects, and it’s easy to see why. He’s urology surgeon and the deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of Berzeit University in Palestine’s West Bank. Among the founders of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners and the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Aker was also a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference and in the Palestinian-Israeli bilateral talks between 1991 and 1993. He’s also a member of several councils and committees focused on the health, education, and wellbeing of the Palestinian people. During his visit to the Carver College of Medicine he spoke to our students and faculty about the state of Palestinian healthcare. He was generous with his time, as he also sat down with med students Shakoora Sabree, Ossama Habu-Halawa, Jordan Harbaugh-Williams, and Joelle Friezen to discuss the topic. Our discussion was near the anniversary of his 45-day ordeal in the custody of Israeli security forces in the early 1990s because of his outspoken views that his Palestinian patients were prevented from receiving adequate healthcare.
Dr. Paul Farmer is sort of the rock god of global health. He’s an incredibly busy and influential guy, so when he flew in from Liberia to spend the entire day here with us at the Carver College of Medicine, it wasn’t easy to keep the stars from our eyes. Of course, he’s a physician, but he’s also a medical anthropologist, chief of Brigham and Women’s Division of Global Health Equity, professor of medicine at Harvard, and the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. One of the things you notice about Dr. Farmer is that although he’s clearly a celebrity in his field, it doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm, idealism, and the pleasure he takes in meeting students who share his passion for understanding and changing how healthcare is delivered to the world’s neediest people.
Continue reading Dr. Paul Farmer and Liberation Medicine
The excitement was palpable as we waited for the clock to strike 11 a.m. CST. Or maybe it was fear, hope, dread…whatever it was, we were waiting for the results of Match Day 2015, when med students throughout the country found out where they’d be going as newly minted residents to finish their training for the next few years. After the drama had played out, and everyone else had left the building to start celebrating, Damien Ihrig–he’s the registrar here at the College of Medicine–sat down with Nathan Miller, Melissa Palma, and Jordan Harbaugh-Williams to talk about Match Day and everything that lead up to it. Continue reading Match Day 2015!