Summer 2010: My Experiences as a Global Health Leadership Intern
By Daniel Ting
McGill University Student
Summer 2010 (June 1-July 30) Global Health Leadership Intern
My internship focused on developing teaching resources for the Unite For Sight Global Health University, which provides online resources to instruct the Global Health Impact Corps to achieve impactful and sustainable results as volunteers. More broadly, the information is freely available to the general public as part of a Unite For Sight vision to provide an academic global health presence on the Internet.
Writing extensively about global health has cultivated my knowledge of world issues. Before my internship, I was interested in global health, specifically in disparities among medical care, but my knowledge on how to enact positive change was only superficial. Now, I recognize some of the nuances of effective global health interventions—such as the emphasis on sanctioning grassroots initiatives to ensure interventions are sustainable. As a medical student interested in engaging in international work, a wider understanding of global health will allow me to engage in projects that promise lasting change.
During my internship, I produced a number of articles and courses:
- To illustrate how healthcare delivery is constrained by a limitation of resources, I designed the Clinic Challenges in Resource-Poor Settings course. The various modules of this course cover limitations of human resources, of technology, and of basic supplies that make international global health delivery a particular concern. This course is now integrated as part of the Certificate in Global Health Practice.
- As a branch of the Base of Pyramid Entrepreneurship Certificate Program, the Spending at the Bottom of the Pyramid course aims to dispel the general impression that the poor in developing countries lack financial lives. Instead, because of their precarious financial positions, the poor are forced to take particular care of their money. Empowering the poor to safeguard their savings allows them to pursue business ventures, invest in their children’s education, and to build for a brighter future.
- I wrote an expansive module on Social Marketing at the Base of the Pyramid, as well as a section on the Total Market Approach in the Social Marketing in Health Care Delivery module. Both modules delve into partnering with local communities to produce locally-relevant products, and form part of the Base of Pyramid Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.
- The Innovation and Creativity at the Base of the Pyramid course was created to outline the strong entrepreneurial base that exists in developing countries. This course also explores how governments, corporations, and NGOs can cooperate with entrepreneurs to scale up projects and speed up grassroots development.
Beyond what I learned about global health through research, I was inspired daily by being immersed in a work environment with tremendously passionate individuals who legitimately live and breathe global health. I feel that assembling these individuals together is one of the reasons why Unite For Sight has, without exaggeration or vanity, changed the world both domestically and abroad. I was consistently struck by how much can be done by so few. Indeed, to paraphrase Margaret Mead, such is the pattern of world-changers, a select few who combine the audacity to hope with the commitment to deliver.
Perhaps my most valuable lesson was not how much I came to know, but how much I remain humbly ignorant of. My internship has opened my eyes to the staggering volume of global health, and has planted a desire to remain a lifelong student of it all.