Naeha on Hilltop 2015

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Naeha is a third year MIMG (Microbiology Immunology and Molecular Genetics) major and is our Campaigns Director this year! She recently helped organize our last event, Achy Breaky Heart, which was a huge success!

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GlobeMed has a network of 56 chapters nationwide, but many times it’s easy to lose sight of the larger network and get caught up in your own chapter. This weekend we had the chance to collaborate with another chapter, GlobeMed at USC, at the first ever Hilltop in Southern California. Hilltop 2015: From Altruism to Action, featured two speakers and a panel of four professors—three from USC and our very own, Dr. Taube, from UCLA. Hilltop was a rare opportunity for two GlobeMed chapters, other students interested in global health, and professors involved in the field to come together and discuss the issues affecting the world today.

Both the speakers, Dr. Bickers and Mr. Wertman, reminded us that in just being from the United States a lot of things are simply handed to us, adding to the reasons why we are so privileged compared to so many people around the world. As Dr. Bickers acknowledged: The best way to repay those who have helped us is to “pay it forward”—help others who need it when we can. The panelists were also very insightful in teaching students that we must try to make long-term goals, which require commitment beyond a simple, one-time journey to another country; you have to learn about the culture and society of the people to better accommodate their needs and assist them.

My personal favorite part of the day was when we did an icebreaker that reminded me that it is easy to judge someone from what little I know about them, but there is always more than meets the eye. We all stood in a circle, and Morgan (USC GlobeMed President) would say a phrase, such as “Do you identify as a woman?” If the statement pertained to us, we would step forward. This activity was an interesting way to see whom we might be able to relate to in an unexpected way. The questions that were asked started off easy, but eventually lead to areas that aren’t normally talked about: fears, death, internal feelings, etc. Because many of us were meeting for the first time, I think it really helped everyone to create that safe space that is necessary to talk about the delicate issues that we went on to discuss in the ghU sessions of this conference.

Hilltop really started to open up my eyes to the world of GlobeMed, beyond my chapter. While I absolutely love discussing ghU topics with my chapter every week, it was refreshing to get a new perspective from all the students that we met this weekend. It was also interesting to see the dynamics of another chapter and how they differed from ours, but the one thing that was apparent in both chapters, and very heartwarming to see was our passion for this cause. Everybody was extremely engaged in every portion of the day, from the speakers and the panel to the GHU sessions and ending discussions. Even after we left Hilltop, we continued the discussions that had started earlier in the day. Hilltop was described to me as “a smaller version of Summit,” and if I enjoyed Hilltop this much, I can only imagine how much fun Summit (Global Health Conference held in Northwestern) is going to be!

GlobeMed never ceases to amaze me, and this weekend was no different.

GlobeMed love to the fam ❤

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