211419 Tulane University Chapter of Doctors for Global Health: Putting Principles of Social Justice Into Practice

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:30 AM

Alison Smith, MD/PhD Student , School of Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Doctors for Global Health (DGH) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion of health, education, art and human rights throughout the world (http://dghonline.org/). Since its founding in 1995, DGH has grown into a thriving international social movement. This work is accomplished through local activism. Students in particular play a significant role in driving local projects that embody and realize the principles of DGH while educating and inspiring others to act. In 2004, a local chapter was established at Tulane University to promote DGH principles in the city of New Orleans. The Tulane chapter is comprised of medical and public health students, undergraduates, and some local physicians.

Students are encouraged to actively participate in local and international service projects, emphasizing the logical and necessary coupling of being a competent clinician/scientist and advocate for human rights. The Tulane chapter holds monthly meetings on a wide-range of social justice topics, often with invited speakers. For example, recent presentations focused on the Lower Ninth Ward Clinic that serves one of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Katrina, on providing medical care to the homeless, and on the movement to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas/WHINSEC that has trained Latin American soldiers linked to torture and other human rights abuses. The DGH Tulane chapter reflects the power of student-driven activism in raising awareness on issues of human rights and putting principles of social justice into practice. This chapter can serve as a model for the establishment of similar groups at other universities.

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the non-governmental organization, Doctors for Global Health 2. To identify the specific role of student activism in the mission of Doctors for Global Health 3. To discuss ways the students can get involved in social justice advocacy as evidenced through the work of Doctors for Global Health

Keywords: Social Justice, Health Activism

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently an MD/PhD student at Tulane University School of Medicine and co-president of the local Doctors for Global Health chapter.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.