Sitting in Hamilton or Foerderer during lecture, it is easy to think about how our education will impact the lives of our patients and the public at large. What you may not have considered is that, for women worldwide, data consistently shows the most important determinant of health outcomes is education (medical or otherwise). Though important progress has been made towards gender equality in education and medicine in the US and elsewhere, inequalities remain. Worldwide, two times as many girls will not start school compared to boys. Beyond just making sense, providing women with access to education in the developing world has many great outcomes - from better earning potential to improved national GDP and better pregnancy outcomes.
Organized efforts have emerged to empower both men and women to work as medical professionals in areas with limited healthcare infrastructure. For instance, Seed Global Health trains doctors, nurses, and midwives worldwide. Here is an incredible account of one night's work for a SGH-trained midwife in Uganda. As you progress in your professional development, near forget the wide-ranging impact that your knowledge and skills can have.