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Brandeis University

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Program Name

Switzerland: Development Studies and Public Health


During a recent internship at a general hospital in my hometown of Dallas, I could occasionally be found lurking around the main surgical unit. I wanted to be surrounded by the atmosphere of saving lives by manipulating the tiniest capillaries, the most sensitive nerves, the most essential organs. The idea of racing against the clock to save a life, yet having to work with the utmost care is one that is unsettling and enthralling to me all at once. Surgery is infinitely intricate, exceedingly precise, and beautifully complex. And quite simply, it fascinates me. At the same time, I am very involved with public health issues. My major at Brandeis, “Health: Science, Society, and Policy,” is a perfect description of how I view the health sector. I champion – and probably overuse – terms like “multi-sectoral” and “collaborative efforts.” To me, collaboration is everything. Medical science plus social and political science is public health, and I am happy to work between the three to try to find answers to the world’s most pressing public health questions. Given my interests in surgery and public health, I was delighted to find a brochure at the World Health Organization (WHO) library in September entitled, “Emergency and Essential Surgical Care” (“EESC”). I immediately picked one up and began reading the enclosed journal article on surgery as a public health issue and the information on an ongoing WHO project on emergency and essential surgical care (EESC) in developing countries. After writing a paper on the EESC project and its initiatives and tasks, it seemed the next logical step to pursue an internship at the WHO in this particular area for my Independent Research Project. I had exhausted the sources of information on EESC outside of the organization; it was time to see what I could learn as an insider.


Public Health | Surgery


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