Friday, June 7, 2019

Capacity Building in Rwanda

Jessica Crothers, MD
Fellow, Medical Microbiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

May 30, 2019

Working in the Lab in Kigali, Rwanda
I went into medicine with all sorts of ideas about what my career would look like, not many of them very usual. Global health, anthropology, art therapy, women’s advocacy, integrative care, and innumerable other things that seemed to pop up by the month. I’ve always been like that, interested in most things that come my way.  But then I started the long road of medical training and I began to meet the neigh-sayers. Your career can’t look like that because of reimbursement. That sounds nice, but you don’t get that much time with patients. Academic careers won’t allow you to take that much time for international work. I began to feel trapped by the confines of real-life medical practice, but I always found ways to keep my secret career dreams alive.  My path rambled, as they all do, and I eventually found my way into a fellowship at BWH where I was introduced to the COE. I began going to dinners, symposiums and even applied for a travel grant. Through the Center I have met physicians with careers that look even more diverse and interesting than the dreams I had been quietly keeping alive. And, more importantly, I began to see how to make my dreams become reality.  The COE serves a powerful role as connector, facilitator and dream builder. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities it’s afforded me, and the people it’s brought into my world. The career I once dreamed of is finally taking shape.