“Working in Haiti has been the most compelling work in my life,” says Michelle Morse, MD, MPH, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and deputy chief medical officer for Partners in Health (PIH) in Boston. She has worked with the Navajo Nation in conjunction with PIH’s Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) program. The sharing of information is “bi-directional,” Dr. Morse says.

Her Haitian colleagues, she says, have developed “transformative” systems improvements, and she’s found that her own diagnostic and physical exam skills have strengthened because of her work abroad.

“You really have to think bigger than your group of patients and bigger than your community, and think about the whole system to make things better around the world,” she says. “I think that is a fundamental part of becoming a physician.”

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