Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Field Notes from MEDICC: Interview with Dr. Patrick Dely: Part II
Interview with Dr. Patrick Dely: Part II, by Conner Gorry in Port-au-Prince, Field Notes from MEDICC--Official Blog of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, April 20, 2010 Dr. Patrick Dely: “My future is to see my country transformed, a different country, where Haitians feel happy and proud to be in their country. Where they don’t need to emigrate, where Haitian children have access to education… I see myself working to make this Haiti a reality. My future is to work towards change.”
Dr Patrick Dely spent his early childhood in St Michel L´Attalaye, a town in the central department of Artibonite where the environment was nearly exhausted and educational opportunities limited (to say the least). He attended Haitian public schools – where up to 150 students crowd into a classroom, oftentimes without a teacher – and always dreamed of becoming a doctor. But until a friend alerted him to the possibility of a scholarship to study medicine in Cuba, his future practicing medicine remained just that: a dream. Over ten years later, Dr Dely is a family doctor who was a few weeks short of obtaining his second specialty in epidemiology in Cuba when his country was devastated by the January earthquake. In Part II of this interview, Dr Dely talks with me in Port-au-Prince about difficulties facing the Haitian public health system, what challenges that system presents to Haitian doctors trained in Cuba, and his future plans for his hometown and beyond. To learn more about this remarkable young man, see Part I of this interview. More...