Finally Back!

I am currently writing this entry at New York airport, after 6 hours of flight from Panama- Miami and Miami- New York, my flight to Montreal is cancelled this morning due to the weather conditions. Here I am, with my back pack and my laptop in the departure gate, I could not believe what I had done in simply 8 days.Time seems to fly so fast, and it seems like yesterday I was just landing in Panama City and I could still feel the radiant sunshine on my skin.

During the pre-RM, I assisted on workshops given by IPAS, I learnt about the current situation of the safe access to legal abortion in the world. It is up to us, future physicians to advocate for a safe access to abortions, as a physician to be, we have a strong voice and we have the responsibility to act in the interests of our patients, in my humble opinion.

During my 5 days of RM, I assisted on SCORP (standing committee on Human Rights and Peace)’s sessions. I had the chance to be with other delegates from the America’s regions. During my sessions, we did an activity where we were given a situation, for ex: a nineteen year old in wheelchair. The trainer gave us certain statements about human rights and we took a step forward if we have this right, for ex: a right to primary education. As the trainer announced all the rights, at the end, I was surprised to see that certain of the delegates were far behind in the back, where I was standing upfront.  Feeling a gap of inequities? That is the reality of the 21st century. Now you may ask, what could we do as medical students? As students, we are the hope of the inspiring change and we can raise awareness through campaigns and simple actions. Next time, when you complain that you do not have a MacBook Air Pro as others, think about those children in the Third World Countries who live in the slum and who live under less than 2$ per day. Be the change that you want to see in the world.

I also learnt the new policies concerning TPP, (Trans-Pacific Paternership) which restricts the access to essential medicine and weakens Pharmac‘s ability to get inexpensive, generic medicines.Cheaper generic medications would soon be retreated from the market that could have treated preventable diseases like malaria and pneumonia. Twenty million people die every year from preventable diseases, if our government signs this treaty, it would put those people who live in extreme poverty in a more vulnerable situation. As a medical student, I have always believed in the right of access to health care, every life is worth saving and the access to medications should not be determined by someone’s socio-economic status.

Through the pre-RM and RM, I am so grateful for the powerful education given by my trainers, I witnessed so many wonderful projects conducted in other countries and I am so honoured to be able to bring these projects back home! I made amazing friends, I cried when it was time to go, I was tired, I lacked sleep, I was addicted to caffeine, I was lost, I learnt some Spanish, I laughed at marvelous moments, I lived my 8 days to the fullest and it is a journey that I would never forget, all those energetic, dynamic people and all those beautiful sights!

“Though the road’s been rocky it sure feels good to me.”
Bob Marley

Peiyin :)

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