Samples of My Work in Preventive Medicine & Closely Related Areas

The Humanitarian Side of Preventive Medicine

It does sound like an oxymoron, but preventive medicine is important after a disaster. In this context, health workers are faced with a number of challenges: they may be concerned for the safety and well-being of their own families, as well as their patients; they may have to use skills and materials beyond those of everyday practice.

At its core, preventive medicine uses population health data and public health strategies to improve the health of people within a community, and when disaster strikes, the public health infrastructure is suddenly disrupted. This puts communities at high risk of communicable diseases that are associated with high morbidity and mortality, due to the absence of the normal public health systems. Putting this infrastructure back into place is essential for community care to be resumed.

Prior to a disaster, or shortly after one occurs, the needs of a community must be evaluated and priorities must be set. These activities may be going on in the background, but they are just as critical as any other type of medical assistance.

Doctors Who´ve Made a Considerable Contribution

Karsten Lunze, MD, DrPH, MPH, FACPM, FAAP, a research assistant professor of medicine who also serves as a preventive medicine physician at Boston Medical Center recently received two awards in recognition of his humanitarian efforts within his field.

He and his wife, Fatima Lunze, MD, ScD, PhD, FASE, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, were awarded a United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Medal for delivering advanced health services and provider trainings to victims of war and terrorism in North Caucasus, Russia.

Following the 2004 tragedy in Beslan, Russia, when 330 hostages were killed in a school siege, the couple established “Health for the Caucasus,” a non-profit dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and victims of war and terror. For over 10 years, they have been working to improve the region’s health sector, which has been troubled by violent conflicts.

Nominated jointly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Russian Federal Organization for Emergency Situations, the Lunzes were celebrated for leading international capacity-building efforts on both sides of the conflicts. Their work strengthened local health systems. They served people in the Caucasus who were directly and indirectly affected by the violent conflicts.

Dr. Karsten Lunze also received the American College of Preventive Medicine’s (ACPM) Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award for his outstanding achievements and contributions in the field. He was recognized for his global health work, which demonstrated how public health can contribute to and facilitate humanism in medicine.

Dr. Karsten Lunze received his medical and doctoral degree in genetic epidemiology from Charité Medical School in Berlin, Germany. He received his master’s degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health. Trained in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology at Charité Medical School in Berlin and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, he has received a lengthy education, which may have helped him achieve his considerable humanitarian contribution.

How to Get Involved

There may be opportunities that inspire you along the way. They may be offered to you during your residency training program, or local clinic. But what if you have a taste for branching out and doing it on your own? Here are some ideas.

HIP CARE (Health Institute for Preventive Care, Access, Research and Education)

This nonprofit is dedicated to the well-being of everyone, and works to address the physical, social, mental, and spiritual dimensions of each individual through research, education and increasing access to health care. Prevention is of particular focus, and it´s accomplished through grassroots networking and community development at HIP CARE. To find out how you can get involved, contact the organization through their site, here.

Medishare Haiti Women’s Health Trip

Dr. Oguchi Nwosu of Emory University School of Medicine has established an annual 1-week medical mission trip to Haiti every June. This community-service learning and research project is funded through philanthropic donations and in partnership with Medishare. The purpose of the missions is to develop and sustain a woman’s health clinic in Haiti for patient care, HPV testing and treatment, contraception education and management, investigate cultural barriers to contraception. If this sounds like something you´d like to get involved in, contact: Oguchi Nwosu MD at

Global Vision International

This organization arranges programs that vary from two to twelve weeks. Doctors can go to Fiji, Thailand, Mexico, India or South Africa, and take part in healthcare projects are different for each country and community.

They encompass specialties like physical therapy, preventative medicine, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, and working with the mentally disabled. Each volunteer experience is uniquely tailored to the volunteer’s skills and capabilities as well as the needs of the community.

Global Vision International´s medical volunteer projects target low-income communities, and work with existing programs to provide health care and education.

Volunteers are provided with accommodation at local homestays. There are other options in some locations if you would prefer to stay by yourself or with family members or friends. Check out the organization´s site.

Preventive Medicine Training

The US Navy runs a Military Medical Humanitarian Course. The two-day course trains military health care providers to prepare for and execute the appropriate medical care to civilian populations in austere humanitarian emergency and disaster relief settings.

The course content focuses on understanding this unique health environment and recognizing and managing the conditions consistently associated with high mortality.

The students address preventive medicine functions in a humanitarian setting, such as disease surveillance and principles of sanitation, hygiene and disease vector control. They discuss the three basic PM priorities: rapid assessment of needs, addressing the scarcities in the basic population, and establishing a surveillance system to measure and prevent further problems. In addition to lectures, course scenarios are designed to focus on the role U.S. military medical assets can play in a humanitarian emergency.

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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