Tag: medical mission

Anna Bury Anna Bury (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences


I'm a student at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. I have a degree in Anthropology and enjoy international travel to places like Guatemala, Costa Rica, Morocco, and much of Europe. The top of my list for places to visit next include anywhere in Southeast Asia, Australia, and Peru. I'm interested in Oncology and issues in global health, including human trafficking, poverty, obesity, and HIV/AIDS. In my free time, I like to watch Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, and Friends.




Memoir of a Voluntourist

Ana and I sat at that table for a few hours, enjoying each other’s company and stories told in choppy combinations of Spanish and English, some laughs of word-finding frustration spattered throughout. We talked about her daughter and grandson who lived with her, the colorful birds that were caged in her open-air courtyard, and the fact that I had come to Antigua from North Dakota to work with the God’s Child Project. As fond as I am of this memory, now that eight years have passed, I look back on my time in Guatemala with some degree of uncertainty about my intentions. I was what many would call a ‘voluntourist.’

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A Drop of Water On a Parched Wasteland

I was on a plane heading towards Santiago, the capital of the Dominican Republic. From there, I would take a two-hour bus ride to Mao Vallerde, where we would be working at for most of the week. I was going on a global health trip through Jose’s Hands, an organization that sponsors medical students interested in going on mission trips. For this particular trip, they had partnered with One to the Other Ministries, a Tulsa-based ministry that has been doing mission trips, both medical and non-medical, since 1986. This being my first global health trip, I had no idea what to expect other than the usual warnings of tropical diseases endemic to the area.

A Day In The Operating Room: A Forked Path

In medicine, there is a saying that the training is onerous but the rewards are many. More often than not, these rewards come coated in a myriad of shapes, including lucrative incentives, personal gratification, warm contentment and sated joy. For some physicians, a last wound-closure of the day, a smile on their patients’ faces, or warm, heartfelt regards from the people they care for carry immense significance. Yet, for many others, lucrative incentives seal their fate, becoming a bane to the integrity of the medical profession as a whole.

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Uncertainty

In undergrad chemistry lab, you likely were introduced to the terms accuracy and precision, often represented visually by the spread of darts on a dartboard. You were told to keep track of significant figures based on how well the various graduated cylinders and titration pipettes could measure volumes. The goal was to express the answer with as much certainty as possible, given the tools at your disposal.

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Do You Really Have Global Health Experience? The Problems with Assigning Social and Professional Capital to Part-Time Global Health Practitioners

There is little doubt that many in the world lack access to adequate public health systems, and we know that good global health work can help these individuals. Fortunately, institutions and individuals are becoming increasingly interested in contributing to the field of global health. In fact, global health has become increasingly integrated into medical schools, so even tertiary care centers with little-to-no public health offerings afford their students opportunities to go abroad.

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Medical Tourism and the Definition of Helping

“Puedo tomar su presión? Puedo tomar su pulso?” I butchered in Spanish, over and over again. Sometimes I received a smile and laugh in return, sometimes a look of confusion, sometimes a placid unfolding of the patient’s arm. I pumped the cuff up repeatedly and listened intently over the screams of playing children and the chatting of a long line of patients.

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Chelsea

How can doctors-in-training build relationships with patients despite language barriers? Chelsea, a fourth-year medical student who will soon begin family medicine residency training in Boston, recalls the lessons she learned about the power of nonverbal communication from a patient she met while working in Rwanda.

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Perspectives from the Bike: A Look at an Ecuadorian Hospital

The gray pickup truck rattled along the rocky path, careening back and forth on a steep incline that reached for the snow-capped peak masked by clouds. While tires slid and kicked up trails of dust that diffused into the mist surrounding us, I was still able to catch a glimpse of Chimborazo, a volcanic pyramid of Ecuador, through pockets of clarity in that atmosphere. Soaring at breathtaking elevations of over 20 thousand feet, Chimborazo is a point near the equator where one can be closest to the sun while standing on Earth.

Brian Lefchak Brian Lefchak (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Drexel University College of Medicine


Brian Lefchak graduated summa cum laude in biology from Drexel University in Philadelphia and is currently a third year medical student in the MD/MPH program at Drexel University College of Medicine. His goal is to pursue a career in pediatrics. His interests include, but are not limited to, music, filmmaking, foreign travels and soccer.