Essay on International Public Health Policy

975 Words 4 Pages
International Public Health Policy

As a student of international public health, I intend to obtain an essential part of my instruction overseas. My formal education, with the potential to undermine more culturally appropriate knowledge and practices considering its decidedly Western perspective, is still incomplete. The Harvard Public Health Program will allow me the flexibility to learn Asian public health policy and programming, the benefit of which is undeniable. Asia has dealt admirably with the effects that rapidly changing socioeconomic conditions have had on health, particularly the emergence of chronic diseases that characterize industrialized nations side by side with infectious diseases that characterize still
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Complementing my work with R2ISC, my work with heroin addicts at the Haight-Ashbury Free Drug Clinic taught me how to broach such sensitive topics as personal beliefs and practices. I learned that both individuals and groups are subject to formative experiences and subsequently subject to all of the clarity or perplexity that those experiences impart. It was also at the Free Drug Clinic that the women in early detox challenged me to apply what I had learned to my own life. They encouraged me to reevaluate my career choice and consider how my own dissatisfying experience with familial addiction had affected my decision. Coincidentally, it was that year, in my senior year, that I was offered the opportunity to study abroad with the structural and financial support of Stanford.

In Italy, challenged by a language, place, and a people that were strange and unfamiliar to me, I met every casual glance with the hope that it would provide a window or maybe even a door into the Italian culture. One month later, I met a young Italian woman who permitted a glimpse of a rich life filled with tradition, religion and family, a life very different from my own. Galvanized by her example, I reexamined many of the premises upon which I had based decisions and had acted thoughtlessly, particularly those attitudes implicated in my being born in a wealthy and industrialized nation. It was this experience in Italy,

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