Why Did You Get into Health Care?

Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey, MD, MPH, IHI Senior Technical Director, Africa Region

What is better than health care? If you have been sick before, you know how helpless you feel when you are ill. And I have been sick quite a number of times. And I have just come to see that being a patient is very different than being a health professional. It is important for that sympathy and that empathy to make that difference. But, of course, having been in health care, I realize also that the issues are also bigger than health care. So I would say that health care is just one of the things. If it is not health care, then it’s something else. Health care is a means to an end. The end is actually making a difference in people’s lives. Health care offers you an opportunity to do that. Politics offers you an opportunity to that. Whatever it is that you are doing, I think there is an opportunity to make a difference, and that, really, is your objective. And not necessarily health care, because if I look at myself, I am doing work in the media. I am doing work in some policy making, and avenues of real work in health care. I wouldn’t say that my activities are restricted to health care per se, but I think it is just one of the ways of doing what you want to do.