Recently, I went to see Dr. Jim Kim speak. He is famous for making TB and HIV/AIDS treatment accessible to the poor in Haiti, Rwanda, Russia and many other places where it is badly needed. I was literally on the edge of my seat with a big smile during the first half of the talk, until I finally let it sink it that I was really hearing him speak
In academics, we sometimes can forget what we are really trying to figure out through our research. Last night, Dr. Kim showed us a before and after picture of a Haitian who had received AIDS drugs and was transformed from looking like an emaciated skeleton to a healthy looking young man. It is easy to get wrapped up in the data and the excitement of finding a new way to approach a research question. But, honestly, what it is all really about is the people that these research questions are trying to help.
For that reason, I keep pictures around my apartment of my Malagasy family- Loule, Bory, and Hanitra. They are my reminders of why I am doing what I am doing. Honestly, those pictures say it all for me.