Alice Khin

I am a physician by training and have been a clinician/teacher for more than 20 years. My particular interest is Internal Medicine (with orientation to disease as disordered physiology). By approaching disease as disordered physiology, we (the students and practitioners) will be able to analyze the mechanism of production of the symptoms and signs of different disease syndromes, so that rational therapies can be advised. Thus, I came to realize that normal anatomy and physiology knowledge is required in order to understand disordered physiology. Since when I was a medical student, I recognized on the fact that the knowledge of anatomy and physiology provides a solid foundation on which students can build for further understanding the clinical manifestations and principles of treatment.

My teaching philosophy is to:

  1. challenge students to achieve more than they think is possible
  2. increase student's level of interest and motivation
  3. build a relationship with students, respecting each other

One of my aspects of teaching is to instill in students a lifelong need to learn and the desire to learn. In my teaching, I would stress understanding, application and reflection, and not the memorization of facts alone. I stressed on understanding concepts and principles and provided a balance of factual and reflection type questions in exams.


I have a special interest in "Global Health" and "The Right to Health".

I am very much involved in volunteering at the clinic located in Thai-Burma border ( providing health care services to refugees and illegal migrants from Burma during summer vacation.

During my summer vacation time around July/August, the time is spent in providing health care services to refugees and illegal migrants from Burma living in Thailand-Burma border town. As a physician by training, I volunteer my clinical service and practice my clinical skills at this clinic: While working at the clinic, I am also involved in training health workers, mid-wives and traditional birth attendants (TBAs), especially in health assessment skills, medical ethics and human rights (the right to health). Health workers training curriculum were developed and regularly revised by the academic team and I am the team leader. I have advocated putting human rights and medical ethics in health workers training curriculum. I am advocating doing the same thing in the med school curriculum inside Burma.

My other activity is in studying the relationship of health and human rights, and the impact of human rights violations on health issues (The Right to Health).

The constitution of WHO declares that "the enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being". It defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental human right and should be enjoyed by all without discrimination.

Health professionals have a key role in affirming the universality of human rights and in promoting respect for them. By affirming and supporting human rights, we, as health workers in all fields of health, will be able to enhance the ethics of our profession and advance our commitment to health.

I feel that more research is needed to establish valid association between human rights violations and its health consequences. Also, it is time for the University of Alberta to promote and expand the knowledge of students, faculty and the community, to the challenges of human rights and health.