Ixacex

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Apr 27, 2015
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Hello all,
I am planning to go to Africa this winter to help out some missionaries do humanitarian works, such as building homes, churches, cleaning up, and among other things.

I was planning to get a Wound Care certification but I cannot since I am still a student. So I was wondering if I can treat wounds over there in Africa with just the First Aid certification.

I know that if I put on my application I treated wounds while I was in Africa, it would do me more harm than good.
So if I were to be CPR/First Aid certified, would it be okay to treat wounds without the negativity feedback a from the committee?

I would like to just put ointments and wrap wounds around (not stitching or doing anything dramatic).

Thanks for the timely answers guys.
 
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Ixacex

Ixacex

2+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2015
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I was just planning to get the Red Cross Certification since they are all over the world.
 
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I would think that ADCOMs don't really care about the medical procedures you did over there. I think they are more interested in what you learned in regards to working with patients in a underserved community.
 

gonnif

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I would think that ADCOMs don't really care about the medical procedures you did over there. I think they are more interested in what you learned in regards to working with patients in a underserved community.
Oh they do care. Hearing about students doing things way beyond their scope of skills, knowledge, and safety and what the ethical implications for such a student if they were accepted to med school
 
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May 9, 2012
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Oh they do care. Hearing about students doing things way beyond their scope of skills, knowledge, and safety and what the ethical implications for such a student if they were accepted to med school
In that aspect, I definitely agree. I should have rephrased my original post by saying that it's more important and more benficial to an applicant to let ADCOM's know how this changed you as a person or how you learned to better interact with patients rather than telling ADCOM's that you can give a shot or suture a wound. Like you alluded to, it's going down a slippery slope when an applicant talks about the medical procedures they performed while there.
 
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Ixacex

Ixacex

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Oh they do care. Hearing about students doing things way beyond their scope of skills, knowledge, and safety and what the ethical implications for such a student if they were accepted to med school
So in terms of treating minor wounds, would that be frowned upon? I'm planning to work with the local doctors there if that's any help. I believe you can do basic first aid with the certification but I do not know if they would work in Africa
 

Crayola227

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Assisted physicians with wound care is totally appropriate to state

I agree emphasis should be placed on what you learned in humanitarian terms and the difficulties in the working conditions etc, but it's also good to mention getting your hands dirty because they do also wonder about that, what I call the "ick" factor. It's not just coincidence a lot of schools start with gross anatomy cadavers and there's the most drop out first term, it's a weed out for people with really weak stomachs
 

Crayola227

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As long as you are working under close supervision it is totally fine anything you do within the law of the country you are working in.

Here is the US physicians will have pre-meds do all sorts of things as though they are med students, it's more a malpractice suit situation for the supervising physician than anything. Aside from laws here and students specifically being named in malpractice coverage through the school there is no difference between a pre-allo and an MS1, the MS1 could do all sorts of crazy procedures their first week under the supervision of a doc, suturing, IJ line placements even etc.

Many docs hire people as MAs who do shots and all sorts of things without having to have official MA training/certs.

When I went abroad (stating clearly I was under close supervision) I did pelvic exams and injections and helped stitch wounds and no one thought I was some crazy yahoo.

Just don't make it sound you were alone and went off into the jungle to practice cowboy bush medicine.
 
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Ixacex

Ixacex

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Assisted physicians with wound care is totally appropriate to state

I agree emphasis should be placed on what you learned in humanitarian terms and the difficulties in the working conditions etc, but it's also good to mention getting your hands dirty because they do also wonder about that, what I call the "ick" factor. It's not just coincidence a lot of schools start with gross anatomy cadavers and there's the most drop out first term, it's a weed out for people with really weak stomachs
Okay I think that will bold well with me since this will be an eye opener. I think I'll address the wound care briefly and just talk about how this has enforced my desire to be a doctor.
 
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