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George Washington University Medical Professor and 2009 Humanitarian of the year recipient, Dr. Glenn Geelhoed, MD just returned this year from one of his hundred medical missions to the outreaches of Sudan – the team name Team Rubicon. Dr. Geelhoed has been taking his medical and surgical training to serve ‘the bottom billion’ for nearly 2 decades and his medical approaches are unconventional, unparallel and unbelievably successful.
Dr. Geelhoed speaks with Joyce about lessons he has learned – how NOT to serve the poor as just “white doctors off a plane,” but instead to focus on teaching communities to develop their own internal resources and become less dependent on imported healers. He has learned to respect local practices that he cannot change, while standing firm against any cultural practices that dehumanize and destroy. His goal is to help communities learn to care for themselves. He believes that we need to take a hard look at global medical efforts and change the focus from short-term relief to long-term development.
His new book, which can be found at Amazon.com, is: Gifts from the Poor: What the World’s Patients Taught One Doctor About Healing