At the third annual Fellows for Life (FFL) Conference in October (this year’s theme? Creating Change Through Compassionate Service), three FFL will lead a breakout session entitled “Sustaining a Commitment to Global Health.”

Those FFL– Blanca Baldoceda, MD, MPH, 2000-2001 Chicago FFL; Andrew Loehrer, MD, 2006-2007 Chicago FFL; and Sarah Pope, JD, MA, 2005-2006 Pittsburgh FFL– will unveil a demo of the website they’re developing to facilitate FFL communication about global health issues.

We talk with Baldoceda about the website and the session’s other content below:

Why did you propose this particular topic?

It’s an exciting time in global health!  There is increasing interest and involvement in global health from those in the health care field and particularly in the Fellows for Life group.  Over the last year, FFL have begun to organize a more concrete way to share global health experiences and opportunities through a website. 

Although there is increased interest and activity, it can still seem like a challenge to figure out how to fit global health into your career, and I thought this would be an opportunity to share the challenges and successes people have had involving global health in their career paths.  It will also be an opprotunity for people to see the website and have an avenue to connect with other FFL.
 
What experiences have prepared you to lead this breakout session?

My main preparation has been the international work I have done through medical school, residency, and as a practicing physician.  I also recently received a master’s in public health with an empashis on global and population health.   I have had to deal with many of the topics we will be discussing, and this will help me guide the discussion. 
 
What can attendees expect from your session?

The session should be pretty fun.  We plan on having a panel of health care professionals who have incorporated global health into their work.  They will share some of their experiences and then we plan on having a discussion, with some guided questions and then an open Q & A session. Plus, you’ll get a demo of the new website!
 
At the end of your session, how do you hope attendees will be feeling?

Excited, energized, and hopeful about global health and how it can fit into their lives and careers.
 
Besides your session, what are you most looking forward to about the conference?

I love the opportunity to meet all the other FFL and learn about the interesting work that they are doing and how they have managed to keep service a part of their life.  This is by far, the best part of the conference.
 
In addition to the topic of your session, what issues do you hope to discuss with other Fellows? 

How you keep it going… the commitment to service.  And really just learning about what others are doing.  Maybe hearing how people have been involved in any of the discussions around health care reform. [Ed. note: read our Fellows’ perspectives on health care reform here.]

Register for the third annual FFL Conference, and read about other breakout sessions, here.

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