July 24, 2014

Learning Beyond the Lectures

Joan Rhee, 2014 GHLI Intern

Last week, Yale welcomed United Kingdom National Health Service visitors for the International Health and Social Care Leadership Programme (IHSCLP). The IHSCLP is a partnership between GHLI, the South Essex Partnership Trust, and Health Education East of England. Participants learn different problem solving strategies and explore public health issues in their respective home institutions for nine months, eventually presenting their final findings to Yale faculty. I had the amazing opportunity at GHLI to help organize this program and attend it as part of my internship here this summer.

The delegates’ visit was filled with lectures from Yale faculty on various issues as well as field assignment presentations from program participants. We also visited local healthcare facilities, which promoted an enriching exchange of ideas between health management experts from the UK and US. After learning details about the Affordable Care Act, delegates were visibly dazed by the scope of our problems. They asked if I thought there was hope for the American health care system, and I said I honestly wasn’t sure.

During the celebratory final dinner on Thursday night, I was asked again–do I think there is hope? I reflected on everything I learned this week through conversations, lectures, and the delegate presentations showing how each participant had managed to make a difference, ranging from better budgeting for specialized services to improving efficiency in acute hospitals. I DO have hope.

Despite my having much to learn, this internship has shown me that the American healthcare system is on an upward trend and there is a continuous desire to improve. The experience of working on IHSCLP has solidified my desire to work in global health, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity and learning this internship has brought me.

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