Despite over 50 years of embargo of everything Cuban by the USA, Cuba has thriving trade with everyone else in the world. From what I have learned, their most valuable export, not in dollars but in knowledge and societal contribution is medical expertise. ELAM, or Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina a/k/a Latin American Medical School may be the largest medical school in the world, with graduates practicing in 110 countries including the USA. With medical education costs in the USA exceeding quarter of a million dollars (a recent PA student of mine reported his costs for U Dub Medex program were $175,000), How to educate multilingual doctors who can pass the California medical boards, the toughest in the world for foreign medical graduates, is quite an accomplishment. Cuban medical school is free. How can this be?
When I went to physician assistant school in 1973 in North Carolina, the medical students were extremely jealous of the PA students, because we got to see our first live patients within 3 months of starting school. They did not see a live patient in person until their 3rd year. Now I am experiencing some of their jealousy, because Cuban medical students start learning public health immediately. We never really did. This brings me to one subject I am eager to learn about their education. How are they trained to work and teach the whole village? How are they trained to interact with other members of the "healthcare team?"
Some of the attached links have to do with Cuba's state-owned research facility, Centro de Ingenierica Genetica yBiotecnologica or Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. This outfit currently holds over 200 patents, many in phase 1, 2 or 3 clinical trials, and about 50 on the marketplace. The strange and quirky youtube video of a foot race between a medicine vial and a saw is about one such product now avaliable world wide except in the USA with an impressive track record for healing diabetic foot ulcers, the number one cause of amputations in the world. How and why is Cuba able to have rigorous efficacy and safety standards in place for this technology when US citizens are not even allowed to know what's in their food which is genetically engineered?
I think you can tell I have a whole bunch of questions to ask in Cuba, and am eager to return with answers to share with you. I urge to you to view the 4 websites listed below on the bottom right.