Harvard Medical School recently published an article about the impact of the Lambaréné Schweitzer Fellowship Program on participants, including Lachlan Forrow, MD, who is president emeritus of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.
The Lambaréné Schweitzer Fellowship Program, established in 1979, annually sends four senior medical students to the Albert Schweitzer Hospital for three-month rotations in pediatrics and internal medicine. …
In the spring of 1982, Lachlan Forrow ’83 and his close friend and HMS classmate Bob Ely left the United States to go “to Africa to help poor people in need.” But a few weeks after their arrival, Ely drowned in a swimming accident, a tragedy that Forrow witnessed. Unsure of what he should do, Forrow contacted HMS advisors as well as friends and family; they all told him to pack up and come home.
So he stayed.
“I realized that if I went running home as soon as things got hard for me,” says Forrow, “I would have proved to myself that going to Africa had never truly been about helping other people.”
Forrow spent his remaining months in Lambaréné caring for patients and reflecting on “the concrete realities of human suffering.” He also found himself thinking about Schweitzer and the suffering he and Hélène had witnessed, and experienced, themselves.
You can read the full piece online here.