|2009 Medical Mission|
2009 Vietnam Medical Mission
2009 Team Member Profile
I have done this mission before, so I know exactly why I want to do it again. Simply is that it gives me satisfaction in what I work hard for in medical schools and years in medical training. Growing up in Vietnam, more than anyone else, I absolutely understand the healthcare disparities that Vietnamese people are facing, especially in rural areas. That’s why volunteer medical services are highly appreciated and valued there. I can’t say enough how it is honorable for me to be able to come back Vietnam and again offer my love of medical services to people who need it. Going on the mission trip, I want to learn about the healthcare hardship that developing countries facing today and how an ordinary citizen there deals with this healthcare shortage. Besides that, I want to see the types of diseases or illnesses most common in the developing country and its approach to preventive medicine. Also, culture plays a big role in defining medical practice, so I think it will be very interesting to see different aspects of modern medicine in the context of Vietnamese culture.
This particular mission is special to me because it will take me back to my home country. Since I left at a young age, I feel that there is still so much to the Vietnamese culture that I have to learn. Thus this will be an opportunity for me to deepen my understanding of the Vietnamese culture. Furthermore, the severe shortage of medical resources there beckons me to offer something as a way to give back. This is also an opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals and to practice pharmacy in a different setting. I believe this will be a valuable experience for my future career in international public health.
MinhVan Thi Tran
I have known some members of VNMAP and was invited to be an MC for the fundraising banquet for VNMAP in March 2008. VNMAP has helped the poor in Vietnam improve their health and build a better life for themselves and their families as well as given opportunities to professionals and volunteers from the US to exchange cultural values. I like the program very much and wish to make some contributions to its noble goals. I would make a good volunteer, translating Vietnamese to English and vice versa, explaining differences in cultures for both. I would learn about some common diseases and medications to treat them, so this would be a very good experience for my future career as a pharmacist and an educator.
I believe that medical professionals, whether students or doctors, have a duty to use their training to help those in need and I believe that this mission does just that. In particular, I hope to engage in medicine outside of a traditional setting. I also hope to gain an appreciation for using less than optimal conditions and resources to provide excellent medical care. In addition, I am eager to experience a new culture and interact with people whose history, beliefs and lifestyles are so different from my own.
A large part of the reason I want to participate in this mission relates to my desire to work with an underprivileged population abroad. I believe that getting more exposure to conditions in foreign countries and the health issues that are faced there is an invaluable learning tool in developing my future goals. It will provide a deeper understanding of social, economic, and health-related situations that are difficult to grasp without first hand experience. In addition, I have always loved experiencing and learning from different cultures. As a physician, it is especially important to be familiar with a wide variety of world-views that people may hold about life and about healthcare. Southeast Asia is also a part of the world I have wanted to go to for a while. It is a region I am considering serving in the future, so I would love to gain an initial first-hand experience. Finally, I believe this experience will grow me as a student of medicine and prepare me to become a better physician, especially in terms of caring for patients who are difficult to communicate with, who have financial challenges, and who hold different cultural values.
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