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Anyone Interested in a "Medical Mission" in South America?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by christian15213, May 1, 2007.

  1. christian15213

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    Ok, this is an idea that I had involving doing a medical mission this summer. Long story short. I wanted to raise money along with a few other students. I have about 3 other students from my school to do a medical volunteer mission out of the country.

    There are two ways of doing this. Through someone, which the positive is it is ultra organized.

    Negative is that they charge a fee and you are confined pretty much to do what they are doing.

    Or on your own which the positive you have the freedom to be creative and work on the things you want to work on.

    negative is there is no structure and the experience might not end up being what was expected...

    What are any of your thoughts?

    and if the question is am I doing this for medschool app... the questions is Yes and No...

    yes because I have so much volunteer in other places I really don't want to to be confined to just hospital volunteer work...

    no because I need a freaking vacation after the MCAT's and I would like to actually go somewhere and help people... I think that would be cool
     
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  3. mdm2fly

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    that sounds like a good idea, but what about the logistics? are you going to bring physicians, emts, nurses? what kind of medicine will you be doing? will medical supplies be needed? i did missions in mexico with my mom, and because she was an acupuncturist, we didn't really need anything except for herbs and pins. is your mission going to be something that doesn't need many supplies/funds/personnel? i know there are a lot of churches down in mexico/south america that do sanitation/food/construction/clothing/education. is that what you're looking into? because you can go on those for free...just hitch a ride.
     
  4. christian15213

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    really no logistics. whatever the resources they have there we will help. Maybe we could bring money and help feed or give clothes or something. Actually that would be really cool. Instead of the salvation army I could take a suitcase ful of old crap and give it away...
     
  5. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    why would anyone in their right mind want to help people?
     
  6. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Banned
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    1st off, cut the crap. We ALL know it's for that med school application. You're not fooling anyone.

    2nd, I'd love to see you go off on some unorganized mission in South America. I'm betting on the major possibility where drug lords could use you as a smuggling doll so that I may never have to see you post again. :laugh:
     
  7. christian15213

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    I don't see how anyone can mess up a post like this... you obviously are a trouble maker.
     
  8. riceman04

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    I am interested...but I am deathly afraid of snakes!!!!!:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  9. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    If you would like to go on vacation and help people, just go on a freaking vacation somewhere in the world where the per capita income is in the low 4 figures - or less. Tourism dollars mean a lot to those countries. Don't put on the facade of "helping people", spend your cash and enjoy yourself.
     
  10. Dr.Inviz

    Dr.Inviz Banned
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    Agreed.
     
  11. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I don't think it's a good idea to go to a country that you don't know very well or you have never been to without some sort of organized group.

    I would, for instance, dare to go to Mexico by myself, but that's because I would know where to go, I would know the language, and I would know how to navigate myself with the people (seeing as I grew up there). I wouldn't, however, go to any other central/southamerican country simply because I wouldn't have a clue of what to do once I got there.

    It's really not as horrible as some people make it out to be (the drug lord comment is not very well appreciated), but if you don't know the place, the people and the language well you are going to have a hard time knowing what to do.
     
  12. christian15213

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    good point... But I think AMSA international has missions and conections in various places...

    But I know what you're saying.
     
  13. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned
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    lol more AMCAS activities

    "Summer internship as South American drug mule"

    "Assisted colorectal surgeon in removing condoms full of blow from my own rectum"
     
  14. ssquared

    ssquared Member

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    Hec, you don't even have to go out of the country, just go down to the Gulf Coast (ie New Orleans) and spend some money there. The area certainly needs it.
     
  15. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    You do know that the great majority of the people there are NOT drug mules or drug lords, right?
     
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  17. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned
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    pssht. everything I see on the TV begs to differ :rolleyes:
     
  18. cnoevil

    cnoevil good with kids

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    hahahahaaha...that's awesome
     
  19. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Yeah, I figured.
     
  20. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned
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    so do you wear your cowboy boots and hat while you surf SDN? Because I'm waxing my surfboard at the beach THIS VERY MOMENT. :smuggrin:
     
  21. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    The reason that development efforts are done in programs, rather than haphazardly is sustainability. Programs allow folks to try to help others, and, with time, they can revise their strategy and make sure that they are delivering the most effective help possible in a way that will enable those they are trying to help to eventually be able to help themselves.

    What you're describing is the equivalent of heading to Tijuana and throwing quarters to the chiclet kids. If you really want to help, do it right. If you don't, just take a holiday.
     
  22. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    As a matter of fact, I do. Then I go outside and feed the cows for the last time, and I take my evening ride on my horse. Finally, polish my spiels and my guns, and call it a day. :hungover:
     
  23. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    i want your life.
     
  24. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned
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    i want to be her horse :laugh:



    :cool:
     
  25. yobynaes

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    i like the direction this thread is going... hijackers :laugh: :laugh:
     
  26. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Oh dear....
     
  27. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion

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    If you really want to organize your own deal where you show up and do some good, I suggest the following:

    1. Get every wage-earner you know to go to Costco and buy vitamins, antifungal cream, toothbrushes, sunglasses, pain relievers, antacids, etc.
    1a. Find a more definitive list by googling for aid organizations who recruit workers and make them bring stuff. Don't buy stuff that can melt. Don't buy big bottles of liquids.
    1b. You can try to collect antibiotics and other prescription drugs, but then you have to figure out documentation.

    2. Find some friends and some huge duffel bags. Fill the bags with your collection. Divide stuff up so that any one bag has some of everything. Any room leftover, fill with durable clothing like jeans.

    3. Buy some plane tickets to the impoverished country of your choice, with as many friends and duffel bags as you can handle. Check in the duffel bags.
    3a. Buy a Lonely Planet or Moon Guide for the impoverished country so that you can find cheap places to stay and figure out local transit.

    4. Arrive in the impoverished country of your choice and find a clinic. Find somebody who speaks a language you speak. Ask them for ideas about where to take the stuff - where are the free clinics? Most communities have one, staffed with a part-time nurse or somesuch. There will be urban clinics, and rural clinics.

    5. Pick a free clinic and get on the bus. Drop off a duffel bag. Ask if you can be of use for the day. Find a place to stay.
    5a. If you can pony up some cash, ask the free clinic what drugs they're low on, that you can buy at the farmacia down the street. The markup at the farmacia will be trivial to you, but huge to the clinic, so the clinic can't buy there.

    Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you run out of duffels. Go have fun in between.

    I recommend Nicaragua. Stay out of the cities. Ometepe is amazing.

    Better yet, do an organized trip first. Then try it on your own.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  28. mikeinsd

    mikeinsd predictably unpredictable

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    wow that is a sweet idea...

    and now for my thoughts...
    (this is going to be long)

    i would def recommend taking a planned vacation first... search around on the internet, there are literally thousands of companies that do stuff... i searched for weeks until i found the perfect trip for me (it can be mind boggling to attempt to decipher which companies are the most legit, etc... but i suggest using the website as an official screening... if is crappy/poorly translated, then you might be a little closer to winging it than with a larger company... from there speak with them on the phone, ask if you can talk to people who have gone with them - i emailed a few who said only positives)

    and just because you go with a company doesnt mean it will be a boring, planned event... i lived in peru for two months, with a host family for one of the months, in dorms/hostel of a school the other... i took classes and volunteered at a clinic for children - set up by the company i went with - I had tons of free time to travel within the countries (weekends) and around town (after work/class)

    these types of programs are available for short and long term, and in most countries around the world... you just have to look around

    and yes you will have to pay some money... but that money often in part goes to the charities you will be working with, and it is worth it to arrive knowing you have a place to stay and a purpose already arranged for you :)

    that said, having done it once with a company, i think i understand a lot of what it would take to go it alone, and next time i might try that... but I would recommend a company for your first trip...
     

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