I previously discussed the concept of 'solving the unknown' as the environment that tests Interprofessional Collaboration. I do believe there is no better test of interprofessional collaborative skills than forming health care teams to provide aid for the world’s underserved populations. The unknowns extend beyond the medical realm as a team manages the challenges of health care in a foreign land.
These opportunities provide tremendous learning chances as well as a meaningful life event. A blog by Refugee International highlights exactly this type of opportunity and describes the efforts of Margaret Bobonich, a former contestant on Survivor Guatemala, who recruited seven nurse practitioner students to serve at a clinic in San Raymundo, Guatemala.
The time as a student might be the best opportunity to serve the world’s most medically needy before life’s other obligations preclude adventuring. One problem for the student is that organizations such as Doctors without Borders require at least two years of professional experience and a 9-12 month commitment. By the time one has the required professional experience, life’s priorities often prevent such a long commitment. The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy Global Medical Brigades might be the most feasible opportunity for students.
"Global Brigades is the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Since 2004, Global Brigades has mobilized thousands of university students and professionals through nine skill-based service programs to improve quality of life in under resourced communities."
I cannot think of a better experience to truly learn about 'patient first' and the sense of duty as a professional than to serve the underserved. The Global Medical Brigades at the University of Arizona is a great opportunity to get connected with those who share this passion.
If you're interested in learning more, the Global Medical Brigades at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy have opportunities to serve in Ghana, Honduras and Panama. Follow this link to start the process for membership.