medical mission as pre-med or 1st year?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by jmccade, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. jmccade

    jmccade Junior Member
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    Has anyone gone on a medical mission as a pre-med or 1st year med student? In the US or otherwise?

    I am interested in doing a short term summer mission before I apply and would like feedback from anyone that has had mission field experience.
     
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  3. andrea

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    Hey Jmccade!

    That is awesome that you're interested in medical missions. I would definitely encourage you to go for it! I'm an MS1, but I did some trips as an undergrad to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and then I went to Ecuador this last summer before school started. I'm hoping to do a rotation in Kenya my fourth year.

    Practicing medicine in a developing country will change your views of medicine forever! I went with a group that traveled to remote areas in the mountains. People walked for hours to get to us, with conditions that could have been easily treated a long time ago. A horrible situation.

    Children would come in with the worms that had crawled up their throats the night before; almost all of them had scabies. Adults had huge goiters on their necks. Some babies were malnurished. Nobody brushed their teeth. Women who had lots of children had prolapsed cervixes that had never been surgically fixed. Many vision problems too.

    I think if you go, you will deepen your love for medicine and find a compassion that you never knew you had. Good luck! Let me know if I can answer any ?s.

    -Andrea
     
  4. jhug

    jhug 1K Member
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    andrea-- which program did you go through??? that is super interesting to me, especially how i love surgery. Was it through KCOM or a private company, and how much did it put you back-- please pm me if it's a bit too private-- Thanks!!!
     
  5. jmccade

    jmccade Junior Member
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    Yes I would like to know which program also.
     
  6. Old Yeller

    Old Yeller Member
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    Hey jmccade, I agree with Andrea, medical missions will really open your eyes to see what's out there in the world. Not only will it open your eyes, but hopefully it will open your heart and lay a good foundation to make it a habit of going on medical missions on a regular basis as a physician. I had a chance to go to the northern states of India along the foothills of the Himalyans during the summer of 2001 (I was a pre-med at the time). I had a chance to hook up with some of the NSU-COM CMDA students. It was awesome. We started out in a small village. No running water, no electricity. We were the first Westerners to walk into that village in 50 years! We held clinics in the morning and afternoon and had Christian worship services during the evenings. We even held seminars during the days and I had an opportunity to lecture about AIDS/HIV to the villagers, since there seemed to be a contained epidemic in that village. Some of the things we were able to diagnose were: otitis media, eye infections, Group A Strep (not pretty, its the flesh eating bacteria), systemic lupus erythematosis, parasitic worms, aortic aneurism, etc... The truth is, there really isn't much you can do, unless you stay at the village and provide long term care by establishing a clinic and EDUCATING the people (health, hygiene, public health/sanitation, etc...). Nevertheless, it is extremely rewarding and hopefully, it'll be something that you'll keep with you whenever you practice medicine.
     
  7. andrea

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    Jhug, here's the email I sent to jmccade. Hope it helps!

    The way I learned about the trips to S.A. was through my undergrad school, which is a private christian school, so it was easy to hook up there (Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX). That's how I ended up going to Honduras. Then to go to Guatemala, I went with a national group called Medical Evangelism Training (www.healthtalents.org). That was an awesome experience, because I went with other pre-med and med students from around the country, and we worked with a medical missionary there. In Ecuador, I arranged everything myself, locating a nearby hospital to where I was staying, and volunteered there. So there are many ways to go about it.

    The cost is pretty low for South America, probably $1000 for the plane ticket and $100-200 per week to live on, depending on what you want to do, how much sightseeing, etc. A month with the Guatemala group, I think was $1700. If you're involved wih a church, though, oftentimes they will help pay, or you can send out fundraising letters to family and friends (I did both).

    As far as the Africa thing, I don't know a whole lot about it, as I'm just an MS1, but I understand that during your fourth year of school you can set up your own elective rotations. Through my school, KCOM, they have this arranged in Kenya. But I'm sure other schools have various opportunities.

    A typical day... definitely different. Time seems to go much slower down there, so it's not the same rushing feeling we have in the US. So in some ways it was very relaxing. We would meet around 8 and hike for an hour to get to some mountain village, and do a clinic all day. Come back down for dinner and goof around in the evening, or go to the evangelical meeting. Clinic was rushed, as there are always lines of people needing attention. We never seemed to get to the end of the line. But the people were always so grateful. Amazing experience.

    Let me know if you need more specifics on anything. Hope you find a spot that works for you! Take care,

    Andrea
     
  8. DOSouthpaw

    DOSouthpaw Senior Member
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    I went to Honduras through an organization called CCD which is located in Honduras. It was a great trip

    I also went to the Dominican Republic with a group called G.O. Ministries.

    I would recommend you go on a medical mission trip because it will really humble you and keep you focused on the real deal while you're in school.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    Later!
     
  9. Old Yeller

    Old Yeller Member
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    Hey guys, just a question, but how much medical missions work do you plan on doing in the future? Are any of you planning on doing it on a long term basis (couple of years)? If so, how do you plan on financing/support? Thanks...
     
  10. DOSouthpaw

    DOSouthpaw Senior Member
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    I don't plan on doing any long term medical missions, but I love short term stuff. Acutally, I'd love to do some research on the impact of manipulation in short term missions. Giving drugs sometimes gives you a empty feeling because you can only give them so much. At least with manipulation it helps the whole body so the effects are lasting.

    Then again, people who survive in the third world to adulthood are very strong people. Natural selection reigns supreme there. Therefore they might not be plagued with a lot of Somatic Dysfunction. Who knows.
     
  11. Old Yeller

    Old Yeller Member
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    DOSouthPaw-Sounds pretty interesting...I totally agree with you about manipulation on the field. Drugs can only do so much. And alot of times the people that you're serving don't comply with the dosage schedule (i.e. they often finish the prescribed dosage alot faster thinking more is better). We were able to do some manipulation on the villagers, and found that it did bring immediate relief to alot of the muscle pain (of course, cuz omm rules). Sounds like a pretty interesting topic for research...
     

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