Reflection in Global Health: An Anthology

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The sixty-three essays in this anthology highlight the profound impact of global health experiences and illustrate the perspectives of undergraduate students, health science trainees, and young doctors working in international health systems, revealing their expectations, ideals, biases, limitations, and ambitions. The goal of this text is to encourage learners to become critical reflectors, and to nurture fully reflective health professionals with the ability to learn from experience after formal training. Moving beyond sayings like, “They have so little, but they’re so happy,” and “All you need is love,” the essays take a systematic, reflective approach to experiences in global health. 

Nauzley Abedini reveals the sensory overload she experienced while conducting a yearlong research fellowship in Kumasi, Ghana, and how accepting that she would never be embraced allowed her to revise her goals and realize that being seen as an outsider is not necessarily incompatible with being accepted or familiar.

Ishan Asokan looks back at his time in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, and how he visited a Syrian refugee camp an hour’s drive from a bounty of medical aid. He finds countless people suffering, and all he can give them is love.

This anthology answers the question of, ‘What is the value of including reflection in global health experiences’? It argues that, “when a participant knows that reflection on his or her experience is an expectation, the participant may approach global health more intentionally and thoughtfully.” Additionally, “it creates a heightened sense of presence and engagement with global health that urges participants to further explore the notion of extracting meaning from experience.”

Date Published: January 31, 2016