CAREERS THAT ARE INSPIRING

Are you interested in a career in global health, but not sure what path to follow? Take your inspiration from the stories of our professionals!

As you’ll see in reading about their diverse careers, there isn’t only one single way to broaden your horizons. It all depends on your own interests, training and experience. Professionals in their fifties trying out an international experience, or recognized specialists in global health – all share one objective: to improve health around the world.

TESTIMONIALS

    
Nicole Atchessi,
M.Sc.Candidate in Population Health,
University of Montreal

Témoignage de Nicole Atchessi
"I trained as a general practitioner in Benin and worked as a clinician for three years. Then I decided to train in public health because I had the opportunity to do so at the University of Montreal. I went into the field of global health, and more specifically, became involved in impact evaluation of programs to abolish user fees in order to improve access to services for the worst-off in Africa. My research focused on the analysis of the quality of medical prescriptions in the context of user fees abolition. I’m currently at the end of my training, and this experience has been valuable to me, in terms of both theory and fieldwork. I’ve been especially pleased to be able to apply my expertise as a physician in carrying out this project. I’m hoping to continue my studies at the doctoral level to deepen my knowledge and be able to do independent research.

To become involved in global health, I think you need to have a strong humanitarian consciousness and be able to adapt to different living conditions.''

    
Anne-Marie Turcotte-Tremblay,
M.Sc. in Population Health,
University of Montreal
Anne-Marie Turcotte Tremblay

"From September to December 2008, as part of my master’s program in population health at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Montreal, I did an internship at the IHU. The objective of my internship was to better understand the low penetration levels of health mutuals in Benin. The first month consisted of a design phase that took place at the IHU. Then I visited Benin for 11 weeks, during which time I carried out interviews and did documentary research. Upon my return, I focused on disseminating the results. I took part in various conferences and wrote a report on strategies to improve enrolment and develop member loyalty.

After obtaining a B.A. from McGill University, with a major in psychology and a minor in international development studies, I had my first experience in international cooperation during an internship with Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) in the summer of 2007. This organization gave me the opportunity to work in Mali on the development and management of a market garden to fund a community school. An introductory internship in the context of an organization like the CCI is excellent preparation for anyone who would like to experience international cooperation.

I also advise students interested in international health to persevere and to contact lots of potential supervisors affiliated with different institutions. This will allow the students to get to know what kinds of opportunities these potential supervisors could provide, what foreign partnerships they have, and how willing they are to invest time and resources to support an internship project.

Once an internship setting has been found, it’s important to take courses that will be helpful in carrying out the internship project. I advise students to take a course of directed readings on the subject of their internship as well as courses in statistical methods that go beyond the basic requirements of the program, so as to have a strong theoretical and methodological foundation when they start their internship.”

    

Jean-François Labadie,
technical assistant for the PARC project in Haiti
(Project to Support Healthcare Management Capacity Strengthening)

Témoignage de Jean-Fran¸ois Labadie"Since November 2008, I’ve been working in Haïti with the Ministry of Health’s Director of Human Resources. The International Health Unit’s project is aimed at improving management practices in the Haïtian healthcare system. We’re training new managers based on the University of Montreal program, adapted to the Haïtian context, and we’re working on improving practices related to human resources. With the Ministry, we’re developing practices and tools (e.g. policies for human resources management and development, a system of reference for jobs and skills, hiring procedures, etc.) that will strengthen the management of human resources in healthcare. This, my first international experience, is definitely very stimulating. In an environment like that of Haïti, the challenges are varied and require me to use many skills acquired in my training and in my past professional experience. For me, the most stimulating challenge has been to translate the technical aspects of support in such a way that they become as relevant as possible to Haïti’s cultural and social context. Before this first international adventure, my professional career had allowed me to work in the field of research for more than ten years in the public health sector, in the university setting and within the public health system of Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services. Before leaving for Haïti, I worked for six years for a healthcare organization in Montreal, where I was involved in organizational development, managing teaching and research activities. Among the things that helped me adapt and that continue to hold my interest, the most important was to invest lots of energy into understanding the country, its history and its culture. I felt it was essential to give myself a few keys to better relations with my Haïtian partners. I wanted to understand better the values that motivate them, the constraints they face in their private and professional lives, the logic they use to regulate their management practices. This continuous pursuit of a deeper understanding of the context in which my partners work gives me the tools I need to intervene more effectively and to draw the most out of this tremendous professional experience.”

    
Carl-Ardy Dubois, associate professor,
Faculty of Nursing,
University of Montreal

Carl-Ardy Dubois"As a professor and researcher in healthcare services organization from a southern country, international cooperation provides me with a vast field in which to apply knowledge and transfer expertise. In recent years, my activities in international health have focused on the development of human resources in health and have undoubtedly benefited from my sensitivity to the challenges faced by healthcare systems in developing countries. Most of the countries in which I have worked (Madagascar, Morocco, Haïti, Guyana, Togo) not only face enormous shortfalls in heath care human resources, but are also significantly lacking in the skills and expertise needed to find lasting solutions to these deficiencies. The case of Madagascar illustrates both the possibilities and the vagaries that can be associated with such interventions. After several years of accompaniment provided to Madagascar’s Ministry of Health, that ministry had achieved demonstrable progress in developing capacities and leadership in human resources: implementation of various planning and management tools, development of a national action plan, increased skills among the team of the central human resources department, implementation of various initiatives aimed at reducing the public sector’s human resources deficit. However, all this momentum was lost in the political crisis that has shaken the country since January 2009, and the accompaniment activities to support these efforts were abruptly ended. Will we need to start again from the beginning when the political situation stabilizes?”


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Student Testimonials

  Nicole Atchessi

Nicole Atchessi
M.Sc.Candidate in Population Health,
University of Montreal

 
  Anne-Marie Turcotte-Tremblay

A.-M. Turcotte-Tremblay
M.Sc. in Population Health,
University of Montreal

 


Testimonials from professionals

  Carl-Ardy Dubois

Carl-Ardy Dubois
associate professor,
University of Montreal

 
  Jean-François LabadieJean-François Labadie
technical assistant
for the PARC project in Haiti