Overseas Clinical Experiences
|In 2013, medical students at USA College of Medicine were given two opportunities to participate in overseas mission trips. The group on the left visited Kibogora Hospital in Rwanda, Africa. The group on the right traveled to 8 villages along the Tahuayo River in Peru.|
During the months of April and June of 2013, USA medical school students had the opportunity to hone their clinical skills and build confidence while providing much needed assistance in two overseas communities.
In April, eight fourth year students travelled to Western Rwanda’s Kibogora Hospital to assist Rwandan and Congolese staff physicians. Joseph Sewell, now an internal medicine resident at University of South Alabama Hospitals, spent most of his time on the internal medicine team caring for adult patients admitted to the hospital. His responsibilities included seeing patients and directing their care using his own patient care plans and orders. He was also able to practice ultrasound skills on patients, perform lumbar punctures, incise and drain abscesses, and take part in several other diagnostic tests.
A team of 27, including first and second year medical students, travelled to Peru in June. They traveled by boat on the Tahuayo River, a branch of the Amazon River, stopping to provide clinical care to eight villages along the way. Clinics were set up in tents or in the pueblos along the river.
Will Cutchen, a second year USA med student, explained, “Our stops at the villages essentially ran like medical clinics, complete with an admitting table and different medical stations.” Over a five day period, students were able to assist and help provide medical and dental relief to almost 1000 villagers, many of whom have little or no access to medical care.
Dr. Keith Peevy, a USA Neonatologist who also travelled to Rwanda with the group, notes additional benefits for medical students, "They have the opportunity to relate to people on the basis of their humanity and shared need for love and compassion. They also to see a beautiful part of the world and experience a group adventure they will likely never forget."
Both medical mission trips were coordinated by the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama. Plans for additional missions in 2014 are already underway.
*Special thanks to CMMSA for sharing their photographs.
USA senior medical students Katy Lalor (left) and Laura Jelf (right)
USA trauma surgeon Dr. Jon Simmons