Michael Charles

Michael Charles

Michael Charles, Resident Physician in Medicine / Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago

How has your perspective of health care changed after coming to Senegal?

Coming to Senegal has given me exposure to different ways things could be done.  I had the opportunity to see that things can transition and improve.  Also, organization is critical.  The opportunity for improvement greatly depends on how the health system is organized.

Of the lessons you have learned here in Senegal, which and how can you apply this to your practice in the U.S.?

One difference I noticed is that in the U.S. we focus on delivering health care, while in Senegal patients seek care.  I believe that as a physician in the U.S., I can take my understanding of this dynamic and improve patient provider relationships.  I can reach out to patients more often to check up, but also to better understand other factors that could be influencing their health.

To you, what does it mean to care?

To me, caring is living out my calling.  Most times it can be and IS fun.  As a resident physician, my job is essentially to care. It never seems like a job though.  When I wake up, I want to do this.

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