It is always with great joy and pride that I receive my copy of Binghamton University Magazine. However, the article titled “Catcher Trades Gloves for Scrubs,” featured in the fall issue, left me with a sense of shame and utter disappointment. The fact that a senior pre-med student would be allowed to perform surgeries in Kenya, “something he wouldn’t be able to do in the United States until his residency,” is appalling and insulting to Kenyans and Africans in general.
Like Americans, Kenyans deserve to be cared by trained physicians and, most importantly, they deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity. I am shocked that Dr. Kerr let this student do as much as he did in Kenya and even encouraged him to “try new things” on human subjects.
This practice of treating Africans as less than human beings and guinea pigs for westerners might be widespread, but I certainly did not expect Binghamton University to be complicit in such dehumanization. For the magazine to feature this act of condescension as a success story is shameful and utterly out of line. This story is nothing to be proud of. This student might feel that he “already helped all these people,” but this experience has certainly not helped him be among the sensible citizens of the world that Binghamton University prides itself in fostering.