I'm Damian, a full time medical student and student leader at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM, Latin American School of Medicine), in Havana, Cuba.
I am trying to attend this year’s TEDMED Conference in Washington DC (September 10-12). TEDMED is a yearly conference that focuses on medicine and technology, bringing together innovators, thinkers, leaders, activists and people from all walks of life to discuss world changing ideas and how to make tomorrow healthier. Check out the video below or the TEDMED website for more info. Read on, help me out, and check out the rewards** below!
Why go to TEDMED?
If you've seen a TED talk, TEDMED is exactly like that but specific to medicine. Given my background, current studies and future goals, this conference will open an unimaginable amount of doors for future cooperation. The US has had a blockade against Cuba for more than 50 years therefore TEDMED will most likely not be streamed live to the island, I will serve as a vital link to sharing its information and message. With my peers at ELAM we have a vast international network for medical collaboration; everything I learn at TEDMED will be shared with this network, as well as doctors, professors and researchers of my school. ELAM will actually be discussed in one of the talks at the conference, which is great; I can help further the discussion of the impact that ELAM will have on global health.
Help me out:
I was lucky enough to be awarded a Frontline Scholarship partial scholarship ($2475) which will offset some of the cost, yet it is still way outside of my means. I’ve been living and studying in Cuba on full scholarship for the past 5 years. The cost of attending TEDMED, even with the partial scholarship is more than I spend in an entire year, yes, you read that right, a whole entire year. The little savings I have are going towards preparing for my medical licensing exams so that upon returning back home to the US I can enter residency in Family Medicine.
Where will this money go:
$2475 = Cost of attendance of TEDMED (full cost is $4950, scholarship knocks half of that off)
$240 = About 8% of total funds raised are taken for processing/payment fees by gofundme.com
$285 = this is what’s left over after the first two are covered, it will be used for travel & accommodation expenses. I will economize here as much as possible.
Brief bio/about me:
I am a 1st generation Latino who was born in the Bronx,NY and grew up in NJ. My undergraduate degrees are in engineering and linguistics, as well as a (pending) Masters degree in Translation. I’m studying socially conscious community medicine at a school with students from over 120 countries, “third world” countries, marginalized communities, and places often forgotten. We’re learning to become primary care physicians to practice medicine in our communities with an emphasis on humanistic people centered care. Not only are we becoming great doctors, prepared for any situation regardless of the resources available, but future leaders and international ambassadors of health. I have been able to represent my school (ELAM) in numerous conferences and projects in Cuba and abroad. Upon graduating next July, I plan on doing my residency in the US in Family Medicine, putting all of my skills to work, and collaborating with the community directly to be healthier.
A little about my school:
“The Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM, Latin American School of Medicine) is a major international medical school in Cuba and a prominent part of the Cuban healthcare system. Established in 1999, ELAM has been described as possibly being the largest medical school in the world.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called it “the most advanced medical school in the world”. ELAM has graduated over 20000 students from more than 75 countries. Currently more than 120 countries are represented at ELAM, all students are trained as primary care physicians.
Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina Official Page
Wikipedia page on ELAM
MSNBC interview with some of my amazing classmates:
More about TEDMED:
**any kind souls who donate and happen to make it to Cuba within in the next year while I am still in school will get an alternative tour by me and possibly a home-cooked meal
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