For the first time in four years I am actually genuinely excited about this year’s keynote speaker at our annual global health symposium.
Unfortunately, for a school centered around, and focused on, international health our administrators have consistently shown us that they are both outdated and clueless as to what that means. I have not yet found the words to describe how incredibly frustrating that is. Last year’s speaker was painful - and offensive - if I had to pick one word to describe him it would be patriarchal.
I probably wouldn’t have even gone, but I wanted to support my peers, who often make up for what those “in charge” obliviously lack - plus I was selected to be one of the speakers myself. I am a student and I will be the very first to admit that I still have SO MUCH to learn. About everything. But I couldn’t sit down and let a bunch of wrinkly old men ruin my education and so, rather than getting pointlessly angry, I decided a while ago that I would take it into my own hands. If they wouldn’t give me the guidance I was looking for, I would find it my own damn self. And thus I found myself standing nervously behind a podium looking out over a sea of students and administrators.
I gave a talk on refugee medicine specifically focusing on several case reports to highlight the neglected public health and humanitarian issue of tuberculosis in unrecognized refugee populations within the state of Israel.
The keynote speaker gave the speech equivalent to those vomit-inducing photos of big white hands holding little black babies.
but not this year!
I’m not speaking this year. Not because I don’t have anything to say; I have lots to say. But because it’s someone else’s turn and because this year there isn’t as big of a void that needs filling. This year we have a keynote speaker who embodies the title educator. Robert Huish is one of the most dynamic, inspiring, challenging, intelligent, thought provoking, lecturer’s I have ever met or heard and I could not be more excited that he’s flying back across the globe to visit us again this spring.