Hurricane Kids: Impact of Socioeconomic, Public Health, Medical Education, and Natural Disasters on a Doctor in Training
Keywords:tropical medicine, disaster medicine, international medical aid, study abroad, medical education changes, dysentery, dengue, mastoiditis, helicobacter pylori infection, socioeconomic determinants of health, public health, covid19, medical student engagement, resilience
Primary care physicians (PCP’s) are patient’s first line of defense against any medical and social ailment. If patients can relate to and trust their PCP beyond the framework of their disease, they ‘stick’ with that doctor for life and bring their families along. This relatability and trust are often achieved through sharing your own story of a rising Phoenix. This article is a frank reflection upon unique experiences and personal challenges overcome while attending medical school in the treacherous tropical zones of both developed and developing countries. It touches upon the risks of study abroad programs, disaster medicine, and the role of international medical aid, and explains how these experiences shape a young physician. It teaches medical student community to embrace mission work and relief efforts early on in their medical career not only because hardships build character but also because they make doctors filter their treatment plan through a lens of real life, account for socioeconomic circumstances of their patients, and build more effective therapeutical alliances with them.
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