Dr. Therese Zink is a family physician, teacher, and leader in family medicine and global health education. She established the Global Health residency track in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota to help young doctors make wise choices about how they practice internationally. She cares for patients, conducts research, and teaches in the Midwest. She has done international health work throughout her career. Her award-winning stories on doctoring have been published in literary and medical journals, as well as anthologies. Inspired by her work with patients and students, Zink edited two anthologies: The Country Doctor Revisited: A 21st Century Reader (Kent State University, 2010), stories, poems and essays about rural health care today and Becoming a Doctor: Reflections by Minnesota Medical Students (Univeristy of Minnesota, 2011), a literary portrait of the many steps along the path to becoming a physician. Her own collection, Confessions of a Sin Eater (2012), includes stories that explore her journey and the privilege and burden of doctoring. Zink believes that holding the patient's story is an important part of healing, and understanding how that story may intersect with one's own is crucial to personal and professional growth. www.theresezink.com
Mission Rwandaby Therese Zink
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Dr. Ann McLannly blames herself for her niece’s tragic death. And after her mother dies, this young doctor volunteers with an international aid organization for a mission in Rwanda. Pressed into a grueling work schedule with limited facilities, she has little time to adjust. Still, she forges relationships with the remarkable people she meets and finds herself drawn into a relationship with a priest, who introduces her to a Catholic orphanage that needs a physician to care for the growing number of orphans.
It all seems the perfect escape until she finds herself in the middle of the Rwandan genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in a matter of 100 days. As the horrors unfold around her and her colleagues flee for home, Ann remains in Rwanda to honor her contract and to help her new friends. She is also painfully aware that she is not yet ready to face her family in the US. As Ann struggles to care for her patients under desperate circumstances, she discovers that the priest she has grown so fond of is complicit in the genocide conspiracy.
Cut off from the outside world, Ann and her companions embark on a harrowing journey to a refugee camp in Tanzania, joining the flood of Rwandans frantic to escape the killing. There, Ann finds love with a blue-eyed surgeon. Love blossoms as the conditions within the camp deteriorate. They struggle to remain neutral in an increasingly convoluted world as they live with the brutal reality of deciding who lives and who dies. Ann’s outrage grows when they discover that the ethnic conflict continues in the camp. As the threats become personal for Ann, she realizes she must take a side.
Mission Rwanda is a work of fiction, but is based on historical facts, as well as Zink’s own experience in the field.
Discussion questions are included. A percentage of the book’s profits are given to nonprofits who work effectively overseas.
- Zenterram Press
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