team Cuba of medical care in the world
Cuba continues to enjoy the reputation of top provider of medical care in the world. Its medical programs, as well as its egalitarian approach to medicine as a matter of humanitarian principle, remain unmatched.
This is no small thanks to the quality medical education provided to its more than 2,500 trainees from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, which includes 700 doctors that are enrolled in 43 specialized courses offered by the Ministry of Public Health.
A network of 13 universities across the country provide this education through a unique model of preventative medicine that integrates medical theory and practice with a community-based approach not provided anywhere in the world, including in the global north.
Students are taught to value the importance of international solidarity and collaboration in their work. For example, a group assignment might require that students from different regions of the world collaborate to provide medical assistance to neighbourhoods in need. In order to work effectively together, undergraduate students receive Spanish language training at a preparatory school in the capital upon arrival. Once they learn to work together as a team, they are also assessed together as a team; if two colleagues from Latin America perform better than two from Palestine, for example, they are often sent back into the field with strict instructions to uplift and support their Palestinian “companeros.”
In addition to a sense of international solidarity, students are taught to develop a conscious awareness of social and environmental factors related to health. Learning about the interconnectedness of social and economic disenfranchisement with issues such as gun violence, police brutality, addiction and poverty serves as a reflection of Cuba’s commitment to social justice and a better world since its revolution.
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