Truman State University Spring Break trip to Cuba
Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) (March 12)
Creation of school. Fidel expected 500 students every year, 5k in 10 yrs. Feb 27, 1998 brought in first students. Quickly expanded beyond 500. Nov 15, 1999 Fidel inaugurated, we had 1900 students from 18 countries—4x original. Following yrs expanded, 2001 include US. Entirely free, students receive everything (food, clothes, medical assistance). Need to come w/ HS, but from US HS is not enuf—needs at least 2 yrs college. Generally younger 25yrs, no medical or psychological problems. Scholarships from Cuban govt, and except for US doesn't have problems. 2010 expand to rest of world. Agreements with countries.
Challenges: language, diversity of knowledge—not all started at same level. Yr of prep before start medicine. 6 months spanish classes. Pre med. intro to heath care sys. 99% pass to next stage, and start studying medicine. Cuba is 6yr program. 1st 2 yrs here: basic science. 3d yr leave here and go to one of 13 medical schools in Cuba & finish 4 yrs. Clinic cycle. Same curriculum for all universities—which is why we can send them to a different university. Ruled by health care ministry. Practical elements, pedagogical of learning on job. Mix w/ cuban students. Finish w/ state exam. End w/ general medicine license. Trains for their countries, not Cuba. Take care of people w/ fewer students. Option to take specialty.
US law says that anyone who takes a medical program needs to get certified in US. Most go to poorest areas.
2 graduates are in charge of heath care ministers (Bolivia & CR), and other officials are graduated from here. VZ made a similar school. Team work. Different concepts of medicine.
Cf ELAM w/ MSF: they have schedules, and Cuba works until job is done. Unlike anything else.
Finances: hard to understand Cuba, poor country shares what little it has. Not what it has to spare, but what it has. Like Cuba splitting the bread. Wars are not ideological, but over resources and taking away resources. Need to help each other, not to take things from them.