Letters to the Editor
In Reply to Crump et al: We thank Dr. Crump and colleagues for their thoughtful response to our study and fully endorse their call for a more robust, inclusive means of framing ethical issues that arise in short-term international service learning trips (ISLTs). We also agree that an understanding of the impact of these educational activities should ideally involve consideration of the possible benefits and costs to all of the stakeholders in the process. We would, however, like to stress the essential role that dialogue plays in the personal and professional development that underlie such activities. If approached and conducted with thought and sensitivity before, during, and after the ISLT, such dialogue—as well as the mentorship that can frame such interactions—can nurture and enhance the transformative nature of such experiences. In this way, those experiences can foster a lifelong and creative commitment to addressing suffering and issues of social justice both at home and abroad.
Medical student, Class of 2014, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Larry D. Gruppen, PhD
Josiah Macy Professor, and chair, Department of Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Joseph Kolars, MD
Professor of internal medicine and senior associate dean of medical education and global initiatives, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Arno K. Kumagai, MD
Professor of internal medicine and medical education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; firstname.lastname@example.org.