I spent Boxing Day stocking up on books: rather unusual, isn’t it ? I bought pocketbooks, dictionaries, and famous novels from Latin American authors. Even though I’ve been told I won’t need to speak a word of Spanish to attend the RM2013, I couldn’t bear the idea of visiting a country without knowing the lingua franca.
Being part of IFMSA won’t save the world, but making a difference is already a great improvement. As a medical student, I have the amazing power not only to care and to cure, but also to prevent. Most of my time spent as a reproductive health local officer in my local committee is directed towards raising awareness. However, results don’t show up as quickly as hoped, and it sometimes may be disappointing. I’d describe myself more as a “do-er” than a “thinker”, and I’d get really impatient from time to time.
Thoughts changed: since I took part in IFMSA’s standing committees’ activities, I quickly grew aware of the important task that prevention really is, and how much public health is relevant to medicine. Even though we, IFMSAers, are really adamant on enacting change, deep inside I know it takes much more than just a RM to shake things up.
I don’t plan on saving the world, I’m only a soon-to-be doctor hoping to make the world a better place to live. Ever since I heard my parents’ war tales about Vietnam, I swore to myself I’d never act like a saviour whenever I visit another country. Every single time I travel, I always try to learn the local language before stepping foot into the airport.
Learning the language is only the first step; understanding the culture will be a greater challenge once in El Salvador. Let’s understand the world before we try to change it.