November 12, 1999
Worcester, Mass. – Mark D. Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, delivered the keynote address earlier today at the Symposium on Global Health, sponsored in Worcester by the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Center for International Health.
Gearan, who served as director of the Peace Corps from 1995 until earlier this year, described international health and service opportunities that exist around the globe. He described how his work with Peace Corps volunteers illustrated the special importance that United States citizens have in the international health care environment, given not only the sophistication of the American health care system but also this country's familiarity with and predisposition toward multi-cultural settings. He told the various faculty and medical students assembled that, just as U.S. physicians have opportunities to make a difference with short-term intervention, they too benefit from their enhanced understanding of international cultures, which inform their own practices here in settings that are often highly multi-cultural.
Gearan described the Symposium on Global Health as an important and lively exchange. “In a year that Doctors Without Borders has received the Nobel Peace Prize, this symposium could not be better timed,” he said. “The faculty and staff of the University of Massachusetts Medical School — and particularly the medical students — were actively engaged and inquisitive on international health matters.”
The Center for International Health is a consortium comprised of the departments of Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine and Community Health, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Nuclear Medicine of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. For 25 years, the Center has operated according to an enduring belief that, as institutions and as individuals, Americans have much to offer to less advantaged populations and to those medical colleagues that care for them. The Center supports diverse activities in clinical care, humanitarian service, and research. Through greater cross-fertilization of ideas, the Center serves as the foundation for creating greater capacity to respond to international opportunities for service.
Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women — private, liberal arts institutions with a combined enrollment of 1,800 — are noted for both their ambitious emphasis on international study and their integrated curricular and co-curricular programs in community service pre-health. The Colleges also maintain a particularly strong pre-medicine degree program.
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