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Global Health Forum - CYOA

Global Health Forum - CYOA

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Forum on Global Health and Human Rights: The Ethics of Global Health Education, Choose Your Own Adventure
Forum on Global Health and Human Rights: The Ethics of Global Health Education, Choose Your Own Adventure

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Published by: globalhealthandhumanrights4967 on Feb 03, 2009
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09/29/2012

 
Page 1:You are a bright, young medical student about to embark upon an international elective inthe impoverished country of Elbonia. Boy are you eager to get out into that world andnot only learn, but grow as a person! You puff your chest with pride thinking of all thatgood you may one day do. Your bags are packed, your farewells have been long andtearful, and you have a shiny new digital camera to evidence your heroism.But first, you have to decide on a program. Weird, that you’re all ready to go but youhaven’t made even the most rudimentary of preparations yet. “Whatever,” you think toyourself cheerfully. “I will be guided by my Spirit Animal.”You summon Roscoe, your Spirit Mongoose, who materializes in an explosion of fur andfangs. Roscoe presents you with three options:Earl’s Hospital for Healing located in the incredibly cheap, recently reinhabited WestElbonia.St. Felix the Adventurer’s Clinic at the base of Mt. Whiffenswiff, Elbonia’s famously tallmountain.Elbonia City Hospital Center located in the heart of downtown Elbonia City, which many people commonly call the New York of the Third World.1.) You decide to go with “Earl’s Hospital for Healing.” -p. 22.) You decide to go with “St. Felix the Adventurer’s Clinic” -p. 33.) You decide to go with “Elbonia City Hospital” -p. 4Page 2:Roscoe shakes his head in pity before emitting a mating giggle and disappearing in yetanother puff of fang and fur. Or was it fur and fang? You never can tell with Roscoe.It seems that you could have chosen more wisely, brave medical student, for Earl’sHospital for Healing is pretty much a death trap. The doctors would be more commonlyreferred to as “shaman” in polite society, their tools are terribly outdated by even the bronze age, and you will have to wear a bearskin the entire time ‘lest the people of WestElbonia mistake you for a ghost and attack you. (This is a surprisingly common problemin West Elbonia.)1.) Elbonia Ho! -p. 5Page 3:
 
“Ah, St. Felix the Adventurer’s Clinic,” Roscoe intones in a rich baritone. He speaks inthe sort of complex timber that normally only comes from smoking four packs a day.Roscoe, however, is simply lucky. “An excellent choice.”Medical student, you are a man’s medical student. At St. Felix’s you will find interestingcases, a complex variety of people ranging from local Elbonians to touring mountainclimbers, and that most sought-after of international medical experiences: exciting safety.People fly in from far and wide to climb Mt. Whiffenswiff, break some of their favorite bones, and happily allow the foreign surgeons to hack away at their bones and ligaments.This will be a most interesting place to work.1.) Up, up, and away! -p. 5Page 4:Roscoe snickers a little to himself before spitting in your face and evaporating.It seems that your Spirit Animal is still a little miffed from when you called him the“Damned and Ugly Cat of the Apocalypse” that one time, because the only people whocall Elbonia City the New York of the Third World are people who have never been to New York and who fail to understand that the term Third World does not mean a thirdheavenly body.Elbonia City is actually a safe, little village whose moniker was attached either in ironyor drunken irony. The people there desperately need more medical attention and suppliesthan they are provided. You might actually do some good there and truly discover a lotabout native Elbonian culture. Not that you had any idea you were making this decision.Really, you should stop being so personal with your insults and actually do some research before hand in the future. Then maybe you’ll be able to make informed decisions.1.) Off on a jet plane… -p. 5Page 5:After touching down in the adjacent country of Mixzikhstan, you find that the only wayto enter Elbonia is by way of a gruff, monosyllabic boatman who reminds you a lot oSylvester Stallone.You attempt to ask him about his uncanny resemblance, but you only get grunts andgrowls in return. You begin to think that you may have failed to properly assess thesituation: this may very well be a large ape that you’re talking to.Upon coming ashore in Elbonia, the boatman looks you in the eyes and says a fullsentence: “You shouldn’t have come here.” He says it real ominous, with themonotonous voice of fact. Thinking he wants a tip, you give him some money and
 
happily stumble on to your destination. When you arrive you realize that the programoffers you both a clinical and a more organizational experience. What to choose, what tochoose?1.) Clinical Experience -p. 62.) Organizational Experience -p. 7Page 6:You think to yourself, “What am I? An MPH student?! Of course I’m going into theclinic. We can leave bureaucratic control to insurance companies that clearly have better intentions than I do.”Failing to observe your own dry sarcasm, you proceed happily to the hospital where menand women sit in a waiting room and look at you suspiciously. Most of them wear thetraditional bearskin covering of their forefathers, though some have opted for a moresleek business bearskin. You begin to think that perhaps you are standing out a wee bitwith your Ipod and New Balance shoes.Whatever. You hum ABBA (Dancing Queen) to yourself as you look at the doors beforeyou. In a cunningly simple arrangement there are two doors labeled “Surgery” and“Internal Medicine.” Perspiring and breathing heavily, you mop your brow in anxiety.Part of the reason you came to Elbonia was to avoid decisions like these.1.) Enter the door marked “Surgery.” -p. 82.) Enter the door marked “Internal Medicine.” -p. 9Page 7:Oh. Yeah. Administrative stuff. Studies. Improving organizations. That’s why you’retaking next year off to get that MPH degree.Bracing yourself for the hard-knock world of spreadsheets and accounting, business plansand models, you kind of realize that you have no idea how hospitals are run. Or what youwould even do with your future degree. I guess that’s why you’re here, then!You enter the administrator’s door and he stares down at you from a traditional four feethigh chair marking him as an important Elbonian figure. You mouth the letters W-T-F asthe administrator glares at you from up high. He clearly has no idea who you are.You try to explain why you’re there and what a good worker you are, but theadministrator won’t have any of it. He’s up to his bearskin in work and babysitting youthrough your internship is not on his job description. He motions towards a messy pile of  papers composed of the ongoing projects here.

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