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Student essay
Wearing humanism on your sleeve
  1. Jason J DuBroff
  1. School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jason J DuBroff, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Office of Medical Student Affairs, 1 University of New Mexico, MSC 08 4700, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; jadubroff{at}salud.unm.edu

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Two years ago, like many of my peers, the years of preparation to become a medical student culminated in one single act: the white coat ceremony. After awkwardly lowering myself before my dean with arms extended behind me, my ephemeral initiation into medicine passed as we both wrestled the coat on.

I did not think much about the white coat after the white coat ceremony, but something began to itch my neck every time I wore my coat. It was not the tag, but the words printed on it; ‘Made In Pakistan’. The tag was not bothersome because of a jingoistic need for American-made goods, but instead because of the incongruity between the Oath of Geneva’s pledge to ‘maintain the utmost respect of human life’ and the known human rights transgressions of the Pakistani garment industry. In 2012, a factory fire in Karachi claimed the lives of nearly 300 workers.1 Nearly 3 years after the fire, many families are still awaiting long-term compensation for their losses.2

Unfortunately, these poor standards are globally pervasive in the garment industry. The garment supply chain is so convoluted by subcontracting that production …

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