170 U.S. medical students graduate from ELAM

August 2, 2017
Source:  Granma

Since the first graduation in 2005, over 28,500 medical students from 103 countries have studied and graduated, completely free of charge, from ELAM

ELAM 1.jpg

The Latin American School of Medicine. Photo: Cubadebate

An initiative launched by Fidel

One hundred and seventy medical students from the U.S. have graduated in Cuba, thanks to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), an initiative launched by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro.

Speaking exclusively to the Cuban News Agency (ACN) Zenia Díaz Catalá, director of the ELAM project general secretariat, noted that since the first graduation in 2005, to date, over 28,500 medical students from 103 countries have studied and graduated, completely free of charge, from ELAM.

Dr. David Floyd from the U.S. graduated from the school in 2017, and expressed his gratitude to the Cuban government, people, and teachers and workers affiliated with this noble project, which also stands as an example of how integration among communities from around the world can contribute to creating a more humane world.

An incredible experience

It’s been an incredible experience for me. I’m impressed by the link between theoretical and practical study, which is different from the U.S. system and that of other countries, noted the young doctor.

In Cuba you learn by touching the patient, and solidarity is really important. In my country, students don’t help each other; here both the students and professors support one another and are extremely professional, stated Floyd, an African American man who studied on the island for six years, including pre-med courses.

The young doctor completed his degree at the Salvador Allende Faculty of Havana’s University of Medical Sciences, which saw a total of 52 international students graduate this year – 25 from the United States, according to the institution’s dean, Dr. Suiberto Echavarría, speaking with ACN.

Eternal gratitude for the opportunity

David Floyd senior, father of the recent medical graduate, expressed his joy, pride and eternal gratitude for the opportunity his son has been given to study medicine in Cuba, where the training system is centered on humanist ethics and principles.

Meanwhile, Díaz Catalá noted that the ELAM program currently includes 4,690 students from 112 nations enrolled in 21 of the country’s medical sciences universities, 83 of whom are from the United States.

One thought on “170 U.S. medical students graduate from ELAM

  1. The role of revolutionary Cuba in the world is both multidimensional and indisputable.

    That Cuba even extends medical scholarships to American students is another dimension of the reach of its revolution. The latter is a indisputable fact which not only underscores Cuba’s internationalist solidarity with the American people particularly those most marginalized, discriminated, alienated and oppressed by racism and monopoly capitalism but it is also a testimony to the revolution’s mission to resolve imperialism’s hostilities towards it in a peaceful way.

    When the US blockade against the Cuban people is ended and it will end despite Mr. Trump’s attempts to roll back the modest steps of openings that Mr. Obama initiated, there will be countless more possibilities for scholarships to Americans, cultural and scientific exchanges and a series of commercial and financial exchanges which will no doubt include some of Cuba’s promising scientific discoveries and innovations in the areas of cancer ,diabetes and other areas. No doubt the Cuban people will also benefit from similar exchanges with the US.

    As such, Fidel Castro’s visionary initiative to extend medical scholarships to American students particularly those less fortunate and therefore less able to afford the high costs of medical schools in the US is only an opening salvo of the immense and diverse possibilities for cooperation and collaboration that exist for two sovereign and independent countries to work together as equals to resolve their differences.

    The fact is that despite the harsh and brutal economic and financial blows that Cuba has suffered as a result of the US blockade, Cuba has absorbed at huge sacrifices the costs of educating 170 doctors from the US and nearly 30,000 more doctors from more than 103 countries from around the globe since 2005! If this is not a revolutionary feat of the Cuban revolution and its people, then what else is? If this is not an act of revolutionary solidarity and peace towards the American people especially those less fortunate, what else is? If this act is not a manifest act of revolutionary anti-imperialism, then what else is? Indeed, if Cuba’s extension of these scholarships to train American doctors with the only request being that upon their return to the US they serve the underserved communities from which several of them hail is not a principled distinction between the American people and the imperialist rulers of the US, then what else is?

    As such, Fidel Castro’s initiative to extend medical scholarships to American students is a confirmation of Fidel’s declaration years ago that “Revolution is the struggle between the past and the future.” Capitalism and and its offshoot, imperialism are the past as they have demonstrably failed to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, racial inequality in all spheres including education and health for vast numbers of Americans including no doubt several maybe most of those 170 who got medical scholars to study on the beautiful island of Cuba.

    So capitalism and imperialism as well as other oppressive systems in the US and elsewhere are unapologetically representations of the past and revolution and socialism are representations of the future that despite their flaws and challenges, they have the potential and capacity to use resources more optimally to address the pressing problems of people including their educational needs.

    Clearly, one of the primary reasons for the immense possibilities of revolution and socialism even in a small country like Cuba that enables it to do so much for its people and for other people’s around the world is the elimination of the profit motive to provide food, housing, education, health care and other needs and wants of its population with its available resources.

    Where is the success of American capitalism to solve the educational needs of the middle class, working class and poor children particularly in light of the high cost of college education and the $1.4 trillion and growing student debt in the us?

    Peace and Love

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