Globalising medical education
Why we should be able to explore international health as undergraduates
- By: Jason O'Neale Roach
When asked about globalisation, Margaret Thatcher, a former prime minister of the United Kingdom, replied, “There is no alternative.”1 In reality globalisation is not a natural, uncontrollable force. It is a matter of policy. It brings many threats and opportunities, and its proponents often do not properly consider its health implications. Doctors have an important role in this new international community, in which the nature of medical practice is changing. As undergraduates, however, it is difficult to learn more about what the issues are, let alone how to get involved.
The most pressing moral, political, and economic issue of our time is poverty in the developing world.2 The health of populations is not determined primarily by the healthcare system or by individual risk factors, such as smoking, but rather by the gap between the rich and the poor.1 The poverty gap has widened by 30% over the past decade, and