Two cohorts of senior interns of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial who took the new Global Health track under the Service Learning Elective presented their projects in international conferences held in late 2020.
On November 19-20, 2020, senior interns Gerard Anne April Ona and Princess Maureen Tanaka presented their global health project at the 10th International Conference of the Ateneo Center for Asian Studies with the theme “Health, Migration and Transitions in Asia.” Entitled “Early Assessment of the State of Overseas Filipino Workers Across the Migration Cycle in the Time of COVID-19: A Situational Brief,” their paper examined the biggest repatriation of OFWs in history and the myriad challenges they encountered in different aspects including testing, travel, and unemployment.
“In our study, we found out that under normal conditions, the OFWs are already suffering from unsafe working conditions, discrimination, among others,” remarked Ms. Ona. “This pandemic further exacerbated those problems. But it also highlighted how much the world economy depends on our OFWs, whom we always consider as modern-day heroes.”
On the same week (November 19-21, 2020), senior interns Arianna Diangkinay and John Lorenzo Hanrahan also presented their global health project at Regenerating Asia 2050 – the international conference of the Asia Pacific Futures Network. Their paper, entitled “Medical Education in the Philippines Beyond COVID-19,” demonstrated the potential application of futures thinking tools in charting the future of medical education, and highlighted the importance of future literacy as a core competency of 21st century physicians.
“It was a bit surreal to present alongside experts in the field and have our paper taken seriously,” described Ms. Diangkinay. “Overall, it was a great experience and good practice for any future conference we may participate in as doctors-to-be.”
The course “COVID-19 Action Lab: An Introduction to Global Health Thinking” is one of the College’s latest offerings as part of its commitment to innovation in medical education. Through the course, medical students learned the rudiments of global health thinking and used global health frameworks and tools to analyze an issue related to the COVID-19 pandemic – the grandest global health challenge of our time.
The course is delivered by Dr. Renzo Guinto, inaugural director of the College’s Planetary and Global Health Program and Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health in the Department of Professionalism, Medical Ethics and Humanities.
“These accomplishments by our interns who took the global health course demonstrate that our students in St. Luke’s are world class,” described Dr. Guinto. “They can participate in critical global health discussions, and our College will ensure that this potential for critical global health thinking is unleashed in our students.”
This new course is offered by the recently founded Planetary and Global Health Program, whose vision is to become a leading center of planetary and global health education, research, and translation in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia by 2030. For more information about the program, visit https://slmc-cm.edu.ph/academics/global-health/.