Often people may not see much of a connection between social justice and the medical field. People can see the medical field as a way to make a change in individual lives, but it may not be apparent how healthcare can play a role in overarching social change. From Carrie’s lecture, I learned that public health and global health are great platforms for social change within the healthcare field.
Carrie walked us through her occupational journey and demonstrated how we can be dedicated to social change and learning from different communities in the medical field. I was astonished by the work she did for HIV/AIDS by protesting, providing testing, counseling, and participating in conferences and campaigns to end AIDS. In doing this, she banded together with others passionate about the cause and worked to bring awareness to the public and the government. This is fundamental for social change.
Carrie also talked a lot about being sensitive to other communities’ cultures. In doing this, you have to come in with an open mind to a new and different set of standards and attributes. Engaging with the community and the people and organizations within it is a great way to learn about things you may be unfamiliar with. Carrie learned that even though she thought she had a reasonable solution, progress can’t be made unless you understand the community you’re working with. This is a valuable lesson as healthcare providers. Whether we want to serve people across the globe or here in Ann Arbor, we must dedicate ourselves to learning about the environment and the people we are serving. Only then can we really make long-lasting change.
What do you think about the role of social change and justice within healthcare? What are some ways that we can be culturally sensitive and ethical in working with different populations?