Friday, 18 October 2013

Doctors Without Borders

DWB Logo
For those of you who don't know me very well, you may not know that when I grow up I want to be a Doctor. There's something that has always just drawn me to medicine, even from a young age watching "Untold Stories of the E.R" and "Medical Incredible" much to my parent's dismay since I was 8 and they figured I should still be watching Teletoons. A lot of people say that someone only goes into medicine for the money, but that's not why I want to get my M.D.. The real reason is that I want to help people, and yes I know that sounds cheesy, but bear with me.

When I was a kid, I always did the "trick-or-treat-for-UNICEF" like a lot of kids my age and always stopped at the booth at the mall with the pictures of the UNICEF kids on them, but it was never in the family budget to sponsor a child. When I was a little older, in grade 9, my geography class took a field trip to a simulated DWB refugee camp that was set up in Uptown Waterloo and I remember hearing someone describing everything, but I wasn't listening. What was distracting me? The child actors playing the would-be-refugee's children, bandaged, sad-looking, sick and suffering. I knew then that I needed to find some way to help, even if it wasn't donating money. Seeing the real-life dramatization of what their camps actually were like hit home.

Doctors Without Borders Camp in Zimbabwe 
I've always seen those advertisements on T.V., you know the ones. The "Sponsor a child" commercials for UNICEF, DWB and World Vision. Every time they pulled at my heart, seeing those kids who were the same age as me going without basic things that I took for granted: food, water, health care, shelter and the list goes on. I've never really been able to sponsor a child financially, working at a gas station doesn't exactly leave me with a surplus of money, but I've known that I want to help somehow and I think that, Before I'm Pushing Daisies, I want to volunteer with an international aid organization, like Doctors Without Borders (DWB) to give what I can - volunteer hours.

My mom works at a hospital as a nurse and she's always telling me about a couple of doctors there who volunteer abroad in South Africa. They spend half the year here, in Canada, working to save some money and then they leave for the other half of the year and volunteer their skills abroad with DWB. Its where I got some of my inspiration for pursuing this dream, through talking with these incredible men. I've heard more than what they show on tv, the truth behind the doe-eyed children on those commercials and it's inspired me even further to chase after my M.D. so I can take the torch from these men who have so greatly motivated me to give back.

So while it may sound like a cop-out to say that I want to get into medicine to "help people", it is honestly my true motivation. People today appear to be scared by kindness, always looking for an ulterior motive, but sometimes you just want to be nice.


Photo Credits:


  1. Rachal, this is actually one of the sweetest things ever!:') Maybe you've heard but we both want to pursue a career in medicine. I wan't to be a nurse practitioner mostly because I'm too dumb to get into medical school (harsh, but true), and I would never be able to make it as a doctor. So seeing that you are aiming so high for a career choice is awesome, I wish I could have what it takes to do what you're aspiring to do! So keep up the good work :) What University are you planning to go to?

    1. That's so cool - I didn't know you also wanted to pursue a career in medicine! I'd like to go to McMaster for Med school, but as far as my undergrad? I don't have a clue...It's down to University of Guelph, McMaster, Western and maybe Ottawa? Although the more university presentations I go to, the less decided I am..University of Waterloo and Laurier are also still in the running. I really don't know where I'm going, if that much wasn't obvious by now! Suggestions? Where do you want to go?

  2. This is really kind of you. I always remember seeing the advertisements on TV as well for sponsoring children and all that but just like you we could never afford it. In the future I do plan on sponsoring a child though. I think that pursuing the Medical Career is a great idea especially if you would be able to join DWB eventually. It's a hard goal but I wish you luck with it!

    1. I'd also like to sponsor a child when I'm older but to be honest a lot of the organizations when you sponsor a child the money goes to the runnning of said organization, not the child. Something that I've gotten involved in last christmas, and will continue to be involved in this holidat season is Operation Christmas Child. They have a shipping centre right here in KW, and you can volunteer directly for them sorting and screening the boxes, not to mention bringing your own boxes full of presents to send! Its only 7$/box to ship it plus the cost of whatever you put in, and its a really personal way of giving to a charity all the while knowing that everythign you've given is going straight to the kids! Let me know if you want to get involved - it's a great thing to do as a group of friends!

  3. I don't think that's a cliche! I really respect you for wanting to go into such a field and give back to the world. We could always use more doctors, that's for sure. Good luck!