Sunday, September 5, 2010

Donate your medical textbooks to Operation Medical Libraries

Developing countries have a need for more medical textbooks. Can you imagine going through medical school without a single book? How about going through medical school without any lectures, slides, or a computer? The reality is that many health care providers are learning to become doctors and nurses without having access to vital educational resources.

That's exactly why the UCLA Medical Alumni Association started Operation Medical Libraries (OML) in 2007. In fact, Operation Medical Libraries was featured in a NY Times article titled, "Doctors Heed Call for Books for Afghanistan."
OML exists to shrink the educational gap in all areas of the health sciences in developing countries, which globally face the same problem: doctors and nurses go without the latest professional information they need to provide proper health care to their patients. In response to this urgent demand for life saving knowledge, OML has built a powerful collaboration between publishers, authors, universities, and hospitals to provide formal medical references and continuing education materials for health sciences students and professionals living in the developing world. In recognition of OML's valuable contribution to medical health worldwide, several U.S. Government agencies have also joined in the effort.

Current textbooks in the health sciences fields of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, and physical therapy are desired, as well as anatomy and basic science books. Textbooks need to be new or gently used, contain current information, and published within the last five years.
You can learn about  Operation Medical Libraries by clicking here.

Here's their mission statement:
The mission of Operation Medical Libraries is to collect and distribute current medical textbooks and journals to war-torn countries through a partnership with American medical schools, hospitals, and physicians and the United States military.

I personally think the answer to the large education gap in developing countries will get bridged via the use of digital media. Inexpensive computers or e-book readers are probably going to be effective in providing medical textbooks to developing nations. It won't be long before devices like the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad are very inexpensive. You could load hundreds (or thousands) of textbooks on a single device. You could donate an entire medical library on a single device!

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