From Practice Despair To Worldwide Care
August 1st, 2013 by INMED
“Maybe it’s time I pursue the career I dreamed of…” Tim Kubacki was once director of a hospital emergency department in the United States. Now he’s the sole physician for some one hundred thousand people in Angola, the lowest income nation in Africa from where I am writing today. I met Dr. Kubacki two years ago when he prepared at the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Hybrid Course. His is an exemplary career transition…
How does medicine in America compare with Africa?
“American medicine was satisfying except that I was overworked – mainly from the need to practice defensively. The time and energy devoted to this stole much joy out of serving the ill and wounded. The law is not a healthy long-term motivator. It stimulates results from fear, but destroys the best motivation: care and concern for our patients. By contrast, in Angola I enjoy focusing on serving people and practicing good medicine instead without worrying about legal ramifications.”
How do you financially support your healthcare work in Africa?
“We charge a small amount, for several reasons. Payment acknowledges the value of the service, and people the world over usually disregard what is free. The charge also makes our healthcare almost self-sustaining, so we can continue to bring services to the very poor – like debilitated patients with cataracts or chronic malaria with no means of income. And the charge weans out the extremely minor complaints and forces focus on more significant health concerns.”
What sustains you through the emotionally tough times?
Above all, I am committed to loving the people of Angola, and I actively resist allowing them to become objects, like numbers to illnesses or goals to achieve. We healthcare professionals should above all honor people. Living in a manner that treats each as a free, thinking, feeling person is challenging, indeed. But my Master is my model, and compassion in action must remain my mantra. In these convictions I find enormous satisfaction.”
What career do you dream of? Whether it is that of a Tim Kubacki in Africa or any another worthy career commitment, INMED would like to partner with you to make the transition to advancing worldwide care.