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Posts tagged globemed@oberlin

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: Talking about public health is hard. Talking about public health on a...

globemedatoberlin:

Talking about public health is hard. Talking about public health on a global and cross-cultural level is harder. And it’s especially hard because there are no obvious (if any) solutions. One of the recurring internal conflicts ghU brought up for me this week is the idea that the Western science…

(Source: phoberlin)

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: As part of the local involvement team, I think our change in direction...

globemedatoberlin:

As part of the local involvement team, I think our change in direction this semester has been a really great one! Rather than focusing on having a community partner, we decided we would start helping out with a local organization in town and focus more on contributing to projects they have…

(Source: phoberlin)

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: Over the past month, I have dipped my feet into the many different...

globemedatoberlin:

Over the past month, I have dipped my feet into the many different subsections that collectively contribute to what we call health. I went to GlobeMed’s GROW training in Philadelphia, where I connected with fellow GROW interns and learned how to strengthen the positive impact of a non-profit…

(Source: phoberlin)

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: Currently, my participation in GlobeMed has made me think deeply about...

globemedatoberlin:

Currently, my participation in GlobeMed has made me think deeply about what I want to do post college. I joined GlobeMed in the winter of my sophomore year. As a junior looking ahead to future and potential opportunities post Oberlin, GlobeMed has played a key role in determining what activities…

(Source: phoberlin)

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: “First initial? Answer. “Last four of your social?” Answer. “Zipcode?”...

globemedatoberlin:

“First initial?
Answer.
“Last four of your social?”
Answer.
“Zipcode?”
Answer.

For the month of January, this was often the extent of the conversations I would have with clients who visited the mobile unit of the Cleveland Free Clinic’s Syringe Exchange Program (SEP). As limited as that may appear, put to paper, the clients, advocates, and mentees who stopped by the van in their conversations with my site supervisors (and occasionally with me), humbled me in their cheer, gratitude for care, kindness, and a non-judgmental ear. By the end of my month-long volunteer experience, my aspirations had changed. In thinking of my future, my thoughts turned to the people I had interacted with, and what they had taught me.

I had had little understanding of or engagement in harm reduction programming prior to my January experience. Harm reduction purports meeting a need where it currently stands. It is the belief that a person does not need to end  or necessarily change behaviors that may be illegal, harmful, or both, but that rather the behavior they engage in can be made safer. In the case of syringe exchange, injection drug users can be given access to clean needles and other tools (and in some more progressive areas, even the pure form of the drug itself*) in exchange for used materials. In this way, needle sharing can be reduced and, with it, the incidence of illnesses caused by bloodborne pathogens.** Though the original Free Clinic, which operated out of a rental house in 1970, has since been replaced with a larger building to accommodate the community’s growing needs, the door of that original clinic still hangs within. Cheerfully painted in a “righteous, hippie way,” it stands testament to the unwavering mission of the clinic that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. 

So what did I learn?

Everyone is human. Everyone has the same basic needs. Respect should be accorded to all. Compassion and genuine engagement are more valued than may be conceivable, and people, for as much as they differ or as little as you have in common with them, are nothing to fear.

While I came into my volunteer work hesitant about myself and my future, I left it with the strong belief that I wanted to fight for everyone that I had interacted with. Currently, that belief is guiding me to pursue the area of primary care for at risk populations, but I’m still in the process of figuring out if being a physician is necessarily the best way for me to make an impact in the way I desire.

In that way, I still find myself struggling with various aspects of my experience. I feel as though I have yet to really appreciate them completely. Above all, I still wonder what has happened to the people I have met, from the young mother with her toddler, to the elderly wife in the suburbs, to the mute man with the kind smile.


*There are safe injection sites in Canada. At these clinics, pure heroin can be purchased and clean materials are provided to injection drug users. Nurse practitioners are present to prevent self-endangerment. The availability of pure heroin for purchase drives away interest from purchasing cut heroin on the streets, which carries with it the risk of arterial blockages.

**HIV and Hepatitis C are of particular concern in the Greater Cleveland area.
-Hannah Daneshvar

(Source: phoberlin)

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GlobeMed at Oberlin College: I considered myself pretty educated on healthcare topics prior to...

globemedatoberlin:

I considered myself pretty educated on healthcare topics prior to becoming part of GlobeMed, but was unexpectedly surprised to find myself in an unfamiliar place at the first few meetings. While discussing health as a human right (and even what human rights are), I found myself reconsidering my…

(Source: phoberlin)

Filed under oberlin oberlin college globemed globemed@oberlin global health health care