3.2 Role of the Medical Expert

A group of East Timor refugees walking down a path, carrying all their belongings with them.
Photo Credit: Gruner (Red Cross)

The role of Medical Expert in global and refugee health–caring for vulnerable populations in unfamiliar resource-limited settings–encompasses a wide range of skills, knowledge and attitudes.

The expert brings it all together using the skills of communicator, collaborator and advocator, and drawing on their knowledge to assess and manage various cases.

Definitions for Selected Terms:

Immunization
When a patient is exposed to foreign molecules, the patient’s immune system creates an immune response to combat the same molecule in the future. By exposing a patient to an immunogen through vaccination, the patient’s system can build immunity. (wikipedia)
Cultural Competence
Cultural competence refers to the ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. One should be aware of their own attitudes towards other cultures and be able to understand differences that arise. (wikipedia)
Global patterns of burden of disease
“Burden of disease is the impact of a health problem in an area measured by financial cost, mortality, morbidity, or other indicators. It is often quantified in terms of quality-adjusted life years(QALYs) or disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), which combine the burden due to both death and morbidity into one index. This allows for the comparison of the disease burden due to various risk factors or diseases. It also makes it possible to predict the possible impact of health interventions” (wikipedia). Global patterns of burden of disease refers to the trends seen across the world.
Prevention
Prevention refers to those services and measures taken in order to stop a disease from occurring. Prevention is important because it can cut long term costs related to disease treatment and care.