Medical teaching in war torn Iraq
The recent war in Iraq has taken its toll on the health system. Ioana Vlad investigates the current situation for medical students
For most of us life as medical students means attending lectures held by professors who we know in buildings that have stood for years. Life may also include joining doctors on ward rounds and going out and having fun--all important parts of our student life.
The situation is slightly different for medical students in Iraq. Alexander Garza, the public health team chief for the 418th civil affairs battalion of the US army and responsible for the medical redevelopment for the Salah al Din province of Iraq, says the medical schools he sees are “a little more austere.” His job includes working with the hospitals, clinics, health departments, nursing schools, medical schools, veterinarians, and pharmacists: “I basically help with the administration of health throughout the province, try to get money for them to rebuild their facilities, and troubleshoot some problems for them,” he says. Welcome to postwar Iraq.
Iraq was once