“I learned so much about public health issues in Dominican Republic and had hands-on experience treating patients under close supervision of local teaching staffs.”
Destination: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The Global Medical Training (GMT) group set up clinics in impoverished or rural areas, where they served about 700 people over four days. The volunteers would work in groups of three students and a translator, taking patient medical histories, recording symptoms, and measuring basic vital signs. A professional doctor would then assist in determining the diagnosis and prescribe medication accordingly. This medicine would be dispensed at a GMT onsite pharmacy that was set up for each clinic, where our volunteers would help organize and dispense medicine. Participants also helped with the logistical operations of the clinics, and participated in home visits with doctors to attend to patients who were unable to travel to the clinic sites. Some students were also able to help with dentistry, assisting with cleanings and tooth extractions. Through their service, the students were also able to experience cultural immersion, improve their Spanish, and learn about some of the intricate details of a foreign healthcare system.
- “We got the opportunity to view the healthcare system in a third world country, work with native Spanish speakers, and learn from Dominican doctors. We also got to go on house visits.”
- “I would not have had such extensive clinical experience on campus or be exposed to an entire new culture.“
- “I now have a much greater understanding on what it is like to take part in health care and what doctors do every day. It was especially enlightening to the health issues faced in impoverished areas and that there is so much we can do to help.”
- “Previously, I didn’t really know what being in health care really meant, but even after just a week I have gained a whole new understanding on what it means to be in the the health care profession and learn a lot about myself as a result.”