Medicine is, at its core, the provision of care to patients. But in thei country there's a lot of financial and regulatory baggage that goes along with providing care. Here is how one DMS alumnus--with more than a little help from his wife--handled that baggage.
Are patients who sign informed-consent paperwork really informed about the treatment they're about to undergo? Of course not. The fine print on such forms is for lawyers, not sick people. But should patients understand the risks and tradeoffs of treatment options they face? Of course. Dartmouth has been leading the way, not just asking for informed consent, but giving patients informed choice.
Sometimes the suffering in the developing world seems too intractable, too overwhelming, to dispel it, even a small part of it. But far away from home--about as far as he could get, in the Afar region of Ethiopia--one DMS alumnus concludes that just being present, fully present, may be enough.