Wherein Global Health Means Global Unity

Authored By:

Marcus P.

One of the biggest reasons the Bison STEM Scholars program was created was to increase diversity in the professional field, focusing on increasing the amount of African American PhDs. Therefore, it was very easy to connect this ideal to the topic of Global Health.

The reason why diversity must be increased stems from the lack of knowledge most people in professional fields have of different groups. How do you treat an illness you don’t know exists? This therefore ties into the topic of intercultural communication. Not every country conducts healthcare the same way others do. One example would be a Southeast Asian country that considers blood to be holy, making vaccinations rather difficult. Changing an entire nation’s beliefs and traditions is not only an impossible, but also extremely insensitive. Either way, we can never change someone anyways. We can only provide the stimulus for change.

A lot of these points I learned from our extensive College Success Seminars but was reinforced by our lessons in CIEE. There, we learned more about the real life applications of why people do what they do-and why we, as future medical and otherwise practicing professions, should keep these cultural differences in mind. One lesson that really stuck with me was on the topic of equity vs. equality. Equality just means that everyone is provided with the same resources but each person is unique and requires different amounts and types of them. Therefore, studies need to be made in looking for these differences and accommodating them appropriately.

One day, there will be enough support, enough resources to make these ambitious goals a reality. However, it’s just not possible in this exact moment in time to instantly create change. There are, of course, the first logistical problems which include the financial costs that would be needed to educate current workers in accommodating for certain cultural, physical, or otherwise similar differences as well as changing the entire mindset of certain individuals who abhor the thought that people can garner support from doing absolutely nothing-even though they suffer without the help. To ultimately achieve this goal, I believe our first step would be to make waves in our own culture that promotes more violence than goodness. Why should we need a reason to help someone in need? Is being a good, kind, decent person not enough?

One day, I hope to help accomplish this goal as one who works to make sure that everyone feels safe in and is capable of obtaining healthcare that may sometimes be unique, focusing on LGBT+ health. While I’m not quite sure in what my steps are to get to this goal, I’m unbothered because I’ve just taken my first few in being a Bison STEM Scholar and coming to Berlin. It’s not going to be an easy path but, well, if someone else has done it before, why can’t I?