Teach me, o masterful ones

September 19, 2006 at 5:57 pm (A Mission Statement (or two), Sam's Posts)

I don’t know why I decided to co-found a blog about global health when I didn’t know the first thing about it. I know some science; does that help? Thank you, Ben Feigenberg, for suggesting I come along to that fateful gathering that co-founder Soule hosted in May of 2006.

I am a Brown University graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering. I like the tissue engineering research I did last year. I like the nanotechnology research I am doing this year. But I’m not convinced that this is how I really want to improve the world. I think there might be more pressing health issues than the ones I am exploring in the laboratory. Maybe I should join the Peace Corps; maybe I should go to medical school; these are things I think about a lot. To help me figure out if these things are the answers, or if there are other better answers, I am going to talk. Read, and talk.

What I’m realizing as I do this reading, and this talking, is that there are so many areas of health out there that beg for contribution – each time I read about another one, I think, maybe this is my cause. And maybe I’m a little overexcited; maybe I haven’t found my cause yet; but if I haven’t, and if you haven’t, then maybe we can all help each other find our causes.

Right. So maybe we should talk. About health. In the world. I think it would be good for me. And probably you.

 -Sam- 

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A New Leaf

September 4, 2006 at 11:40 pm (A Mission Statement (or two), Michael's Posts)

So it’s finally hitting home. College is, sadly, over. Medical school is around the corner. I have answered the question, “So what do you want to do as a physician?” 100,000 times. Hopefully admissions committees like my answer: change-conscious global health work.

I ran into a Brownie on the train here in Chicago who went to my high school. It turned out she’s working on her MPH. We were talking about how high-caliber and intense our friends from school were. “If we can keep in touch and inspire one another,” I said, “Imagine what we could be capable of as a group.” College may be over, but my friendships and partnerships with the wonderful people I met there are not. I am already deeply inspired by the work my friends are doing in Southeast and South Asia, South America, and, of course, the US.

But then I pause to wonder: What if by the time med school is over, some of these connections have faded? What could we have learned from each other that we then may not be able to? It’s a sad thought.

This blog is meant to be the beginning of a place where we can return and always be in touch. It is also meant as a network-style journal where we can process our experiences as we go into the world to do our work in various arenas of health. Not only will we learn from one another’s successes and mistakes, we will learn about ourselves as we grow and think aloud in this online forum. This is the beginning of a space where we can continue to learn and grow together.

I think about it this way: Brown was only the beginning. It was a rich, wonderful beginning and it would be terrible to let the potential that we were left with at graduation slip away as we move away from our home of four years to begin our own lives. Here’s to the continuation of what we started there! And here’s to keeping the network glowing!

It also must be emphasized that this space is not limited to Brownies only. There should be as many voices in the chorus as want to take part in the pursuit of our goal: Bettering the health of the world. Together.

-Michael Soule-

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