Monday, August 23, 2010

"Why I Studied Medicine in Cuba"

The documentary "Why I Studied Medicine in Cuba" will screen Tuesday August 24, 7:00 pm at the Ashland Public Library, Ashland, Massachusetts, as part of the documentary film series sponsored by Friends of the Ashland Public Library and organized by AfD supporter David Whitty.

The film focuses on Dr. Lillian Holloway, who grew up in a rough neighborhood in West Philadelphia and worked as a certified nursing assistant before deciding to study medicine in Cuba. In exchange for a free medical education from the Cuban government, she will return to her impoverished community to enter a residency training program preparing her either for family practice or emergency medicine.

Dr. Holloway spoke recently at the University of Maine about Cuban health care, her experiences and medical education in Cuba, and about opportunities for U.S. students to study at the Latin American School of Medicine. Presently 120 U.S. students are enrolled at the School. She shares the podium with Ellen Bernstein, Associate Director of Pastors for Peace, which recruits students for the Latin American School of Medicine and provides them with administrative support.

Cuban doctors represent their country's medical system in many of the most impoverished parts of the world. For ten years before the earthquake there was a brigade of 350 Cuban doctors dispensing free health care in Haiti. After the earthquake Cuba sent another 650 doctors. Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine prepares new doctors at absolutely no cost to the students, beyond committing to use their skills in underserved communities when they return home. Some 10,000 students study there and 1,500 graduate every year. They come from 30 countries, including eight in Africa.

This 72-minute film will screen in the Community Room, followed by discussion.

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