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Culture and Medicine, Religion and Ecology Topics of Discussion


“Cultural Diversities in the Practice of Medicine” and “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology” are the topics of two colloquia being hosted the week of April 19 by Pennsylvania College of Technology. Both will take place in the Professional Development Center on campus, and are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, April 20, a panel of area doctors will share their personal experiences in practicing medicine in the United States and abroad. The gathering will start with light refreshments at 6:30 p.m., followed by the panel discussion at 7 p.m.

Members of the panel include: Dr. Rodwan Rajjoub (Syria), neurosurgery, Susquehanna Health System; Dr. Nche Zama (Africa), cardiothoracic surgery, Susquehanna Health System; Dr. Shailesh Unjia (India), family practice at the Williamsport VA Clinic, and Dr. Robert Yasui (Japanese-American), retired surgeon.

The event is a project of Penn College students in a sociology course, “Cross-Cultural Perspectives in the Health Professions.”

In addition to emphasizing the personal stories of the participating physicians, the informal discussion will particularly focus on communication between patients and doctors as well as between doctors and other medical staff. Access and availability of health care and the obstacles to providing health care also will be addressed. Debra Mensch, a member of the sociology class, will serve as facilitator.

On Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m., Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, of the Religion Department at Bucknell University, will present “The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology.” The discussion will focus on what the world’s major religions must do to aid the environment and what others can do to assist in this global effort.

Tucker and Grim helped conceive and coordinate the Harvard Project on Religion and Ecology which gained national press coverage in 1998. The conclusion of their studies at the United Nations was: “Religions must use their moral force to end man’s unrestrained exploitation of nature’s resources and instill a collective responsibility toward environmental preservation. Religious leaders must work with scientists, economists, educators, and public policy makers toward these goals.”

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