Global responsibility

January 16, 2015

Calgary physician, Dr. Ian Wishart's commitment to global health takes him wherever he is needed most.

In Haiti we’re getting a chance to help the country rebuild their capabilities. It’s one of the things that keeps bringing us back, because we see the potential for sustainability.

Calgary emergency physician Dr. Ian Wishart has always believed that physicians have a responsibility to do whatever they can to help others, whenever and wherever they can. That belief, coupled with his interest in global health, led him to Team Broken Earth, a non-profit group of Canadian health care professionals who work to deliver and improve healthcare in Haiti.

Dr. Wishart explains that one of the best things about Team Broken Earth is that they bring an entire team with them on each journey. “That collaboration is really key,” he says. “It’s this amazing team of surgeons, nurses, respiratory therapists and other professionals who travel together and know how to work together.”

As part of the team that travels from Calgary’s Foothills Hospital, Dr. Wishart and his colleague Dr. Paul Duffy have now made three trips to Haiti, most recently in September 2014. The latest trip was focused on helping introduce simulations to the country’s new pediatric residency program. “In Haiti we’re getting a chance to help the country rebuild their capabilities. It’s one of the things that keeps bringing us back, because we see the potential for sustainability.”

Dr. Wishart also volunteers his time with the International Pediatric Simulation Society and the University of Calgary, spending six to eight weeks each year performing global medicine in countries like Laos and Malawi. It’s the kind of work he thinks rural physicians in particular should consider. “Rural physicians would have so much to give and so much to learn from this experience.”

“Getting involved in this type of work is one of the best things you’ll ever do. You learn so much just by watching the cultures. It’s such a powerful experience. Even if you can’t speak the language, you can hold their hands. That transcends everything.”

 

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