Shore Good Times Fundraiser and Notice of AGM

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Now that the snows coming down and the mild winter is over…  ...as in previous years, our thoughts turn towards the 53rd Weeks annual general meeting (AGM) and Shore Good Times networking / fundraiser weekend to be held on June 17-19, 2016.  This year, well be heading to Atlantic City to relax and rejuvenate with members and friends of The 53rd Week.    …

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It’s time to enter communities with questions instead of answers

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Happy New Year from The 53rd Week! For 2016, The 53rd Week welcomes blogger Jasmine Waslowski, a graduate of McMaster University and a young professional with an interest in asking hard questions about volunteering abroad.   *** Two years ago, I was wrapping up an experience that could be considered my first foray into “voluntourism”. I don’t typically label this experience in that way,…

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Little white girls & boys arent the problem; the way we currently volunteer abroad short-term is

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by Lawrence Loh, MD MPH —- Increased awareness of global disparities and ease of travel has fuelled increasing participation in short-term volunteer experiences (or “voluntourism”) abroad, with volunteers tending to be youthful; often students in high school, university, or professional school, but also including young professionals embarking on their careers. The activities they undertake are varied, depending on their level of training and career…

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The 53rd Week seeks an Operations Manager

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The 53rd Week is a non-profit organization that maximizes the impact of short-term volunteer initiatives through innovation, research and advocacy with a current focus on communities in the Dominican Republic. We…. Build innovative, community-driven programs:Our volunteers collaborate with local community leaders to prioritize health needs and develop strategies to meet them Demonstrate outcomes: With our partners, we measure the impact of our…

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Call for Volunteer Positions

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The 53rd Week is a non-profit organization that maximizes the impact of short-term volunteer initiatives through innovation, research and advocacy with a current focus on communities in the Dominican Republic. We…. Build innovative, community-driven programs: Our volunteers collaborate with local community leaders to prioritize health needs and develop strategies to meet them  Demonstrate outcomes: With our partners, we measure the…

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Short-term global health education: know more, do more

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By Alyssa Wiener —- The 53rd Week recently returned after a trip Dec 14-22 with medical students from all over Canada and the United States participating in clinical, research, and health promotion activities with the batey community of La Romana. For these students, the memories and thoughts are still fresh. Over the holidays, however, we recently asked one of our volunteers from our 201…

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Update: December 2013

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Happy holidays! As the year wraps up, December has been a very busy month for The 53rd Week. Some highlights: In its latest alumni profile, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health featured The 53rd Weeks Director of Operations, Lawrence Loh, on their alumni website. The piece focuses largely on the work that The 53rd Week has been doing around improving the…

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Our Annual Trip to the D.R. is a month away!

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By Lawrence Loh, MD, MPH —- While most places wind down in December (the old joke is that nothing ever happens in the United States between Thanksgiving and Christmas!), December is going to be a month of major transitions for The 53rd Week. Our McMaster Embedded Learning Experience students are coming home after their study abroad semester with us; theyve been now in La…

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The 53rd Week visits the 141st American Public Health Association Meeting - Boston, Mass.

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The 53rd Week was well represented at the recent 141st American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in Boston. The heart of our research work was presented in two successful posters around our pilot project in La Romana, Dominican Republic, while our Director of Operations, Dr. Lawrence Loh, was honoured with the APHA’s Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award at a reception and ceremony that…

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Video upload: Talk on remaining active in global health as a resident physician

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by Lawrence Loh, MD MPH —- 65% of matriculating students in U.S. medical schools in 2011 expected to go abroad at one point or another in their career. Survey after survey has found skyrocketing interest in pursuing opportunities abroad. Despite that, once medical students finish their four years and grab that MD, they are often thrown into the whirlwind of internship and residency, and many…

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Second update from our students in La Romana

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By the McMaster ELE students in La Romana —- Now over a month into our trip, our project has progressed and grown, taking on some new directions. With our survey finalized and translated into Spanish, we began the process of data collection from both primary and secondary schools in the bateyes around La Romana. We’ve had a great deal of success with survey…

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Project: Minimum Ethical Standards for Short-Term Medical Experience

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By Lawrence Loh, MD MPH —- Since 2007 our volunteers have driven a number of enormously successful research projects looking at physician involvement in global health and the nature of short-term medical and global health experiences abroad. As always, The 53rd Week has conducted our research with the following underlying premises: short-term experiences are happening day in, and day out, and that exhortations by various…

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First update from our students on the ground

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By the McMaster ELE students in La Romana —- Let’s start off by introducing ourselves a little bit. We are Chris, Daniel, Brendan, and Julianne, a group of four Health Sciences students from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. We’re part of a specialization called Global Health, one component of which is the completion of an Embedded Learning Experience where we spend a…

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Big in Japan? Also - Grand Challenges Canada

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by Lawrence Loh, MD, MPH —- The 53rd Week will be presenting at a special event in Tokyo this weekend - a jazz party that will be attended by the young members of Japan’s international development and cooperation agency. In the meantime, while preparing for that talk, Grand Challenges Canada videos went up. Watch and like The 53rd Weeks concept application video here.…

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Students on the ground

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            by Lawrence Loh, MD MPH —- Our first group of global health undergraduates from McMaster University have arrived in La Romana to undertake their Embedded Learning Experience with The 53rd Week and our local partner, Good Samaritan Hospital. This group of four undergraduates will be based in La Romana until early December, jointly supervised by the local hospital…

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A world without short-term volunteers abroad would be that much poorer

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By Lawrence Loh, MD MPH —- Another Labor Day weekend has finished and all over North America, schools and universities are preparing to welcome students back to the classroom. The 53rd Week is particularly excited as were a few days away from bringing our inaugural group of third-year global health undergraduates from McMaster University down to La Romana for their Embedded Learning Experience …

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Research: The Intangible Costs and Benefits of Short-Term Medical Experiences

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by Asha Behdinan —- One key aspect of the work being carried out by The 53rd Week is research, which supports our advocacy/awareness and innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of short-term global health experiences abroad. This week’s blog post is from our summer intern, Asha Behndian, who describes an economic analysis she’s in the midst of preparing for presentation at…

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Long-term relationships: one lasting impact of short-term work

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by Lawrence Loh, MD MPH- ​A great new article by Ouma and Dimaras out of the University of Toronto aligns with our organizations interest in improving the outcomes of short-term medical experiences. Specifically, when discussing educational endeavors, the authors state that a mutual benefit approach needs to be identified at the outset. As weve described for a long time at The 53rd Week, the…

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Responding to critiques: dependence - but how and why?

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By Lawrence Loh, MD MPH-​One of the most traditional concerns described about short-term medical experiences is that providing such aid / charity amounts to a hand-out, and if done constantly, will result in breeding dependence the argument is that over time, if constant short-term experiences visit a community and provide downstream aid there is little incentive for local groups and leadership to actually rectify…

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Summer internship opportunity

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Join The 53rd Week team! The 53rd Week is announcing an additional opening for volunteer summer internship opportunity in global health. We are looking for motivated individuals with an interested in global health and improving the health of marginalized populations. This annual internship will take place in La Romana, Dominican Republic. The duration will be up to four weeks with a minimum of two…

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