Generally speaking, it can be difficult to sit inside of a classroom, especially when classes are in two to three hour blocks, twice a week, for eighteen weeks. It can be even more difficult sitting inside a classroom when you know life is happening outside of those walls. Taking a course that is set in the field is an experience that every student should have at least once. Taking this course has not only taught be about this conflict in Mindanao, but it has evolved me into a better person that posses a better understanding the world, the conflicts people face and how they chose to fix them.
This class has taught me a lot about my own identity too. I rarely put myself into categories based on religion, race and socioeconomic status. Mindanao forced me to remember these things. This class shed light on my identity, how others see me and how I must present myself with that perceived identity in mind.
It’s important to learn from other healthcare systems and cultures that are subjected to those healthcare systems. I will be the first person to say that Western healthcare doesn’t solve every person’s problems. It is, however, the first form of healthcare that I’ve learned about and therefore is my frame of reference. I can say, however, that researching other healthcare systems has made a better healthcare provider as I can better understand different people, their cultures and how those factors and others directly affect their healthcare-related decisions. Ultimately, this experience will allow me to be a better person, student and patient advocate.