Photos and stories of doctors working in conflict and under other forms of duress are compelling for many reasons. Their bravery and commitment to their patients is admirable, and attacks against those caring for others are unjustifiable in any conflict.
My recent experiences in training Syrian physicians in a border community opened my eyes to levels of courage and commitment I have never seen in my 30 years of practice and international work.
PHR's director of international policy and partnerships/senior advisor, Susannah Sirkin, discusses the Rwandan genocide 20 years later, highlighting that "never again" has not been adhered to. Conflicts in Syria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic continue, and the world is incapable of an effective response.
The resilient spirit of the Syrian people is nowhere more evident than in the group of doctors and lawyers I recently spent an evening with in the Middle East. Their capacity to find joy in life, even during this horrific conflict, is remarkable.
Physicians across the world share deeply held convictions and characteristics. We believe in the value of hard work and discipline, are devoted to our patients, respect scientific rigor, and are committed to continuous learning.