I’m on my way… or nearly so! My visa is in process, which means that I’ve got seemingly hundreds of bureaucratic steps to take preparing my documents, making sure that all is done correctly the first time! If all goes according to plan (mine, of course) I should be on my way next month!
For the work visa application, I had to complete a physical exam (in which my physician had to rule out toxicomania, among other things), a chest X-ray, labs that include HIV and syphilis, and an ECG. It is important that foreigners who want to live in China be clear of all communicable diseases because, didn’t you know (?!), China has no indigenous problems, all their health issues are imported by outsiders entering the country.
My new assignment is to join the faculty of Liaoning International General Health Trainers (LIGHT). It is a formal four year Family Medicine Residency program for Chinese doctors. It involves countryside and orphanage work, charitable and international clinics. LIGHT is located in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, which borders North Korea to the North. I’ll be focusing my teaching in Pediatrics, but I will also cover quite a few other topics as well. At the moment, there is one Chinese and one American physician on faculty, but there will be a total of 5 foreign docs on board by next summer, as well as more Chinese docs.
The three goals of LIGHT are: 1) Excellent patient care; 2) Family Practice doctor training; and 3) That our light would shine before men that they would see our good work and glorify our father in heaven. In August 2007 I spent a week there and fell in love with the people in the program. When Morning Sun closed, I knew where to look for work.
I’m still with my same sending company, who sends partners out to work for local organizations in host countries. The Chinese organization who will receive me and with whom I will work has changed to LIGHT due to the closing of Morning Sun Center of Hope this summer. However, my calling remains the same regardless of my geographical location: justice, medicine, and pedagogy. It is tragic that thousands of Chinese children every year go deaf from inappropriate antibiotic administration. Why? Either the doctors don’t know how to administer the medicine appropriately, or they don’t care. Both of these possibilities are addressed in the work that LIGHT does. My American medical training is a gift and it is a privilege to pass this on to others around the world.
Global Health Promise, the organization that addresses the health consequences of human trafficking and prostitution just had strategic planning meetings and we are on a roll! Look for more about this in a future blog post.