Tag: medical mission

Jennifer Geller Jennifer Geller (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer and Medical Student Editor

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Jennifer is a second-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey class of 2024. In 2020, she graduated from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology. When not studying medicine, she enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with friends and family. Additional academic interests include medical education, narrative medicine, and bioethics.




Stepping Beyond the Border: Reflections of a Medical Student on an International Elective Experience

Outside apartment 13C the street is empty. It is early in the morning, and yet sounds echo from the metal shop beside the lake, roosters crow, and the children upstairs patter back and forth across the tiles. I roll up my yoga mat, shaking dead cockroaches from its rubbery bottom. Through the grated windows I catch a glimpse of Lake Victoria, shimmering out from the cluttered shore of shanties and deconstructed docks to eventually blend with the blue of the morning sky.

Five Things I Learned On My Medical Outreach Trip

I recently returned from a medical outreach trip I went on with other students from my school. We traveled to the state of Gujrat in India and treated patients from a very rural population. Medical outreach trips are an excellent experience for medical students still in their pre-clinical years because they allow you to see firsthand the information you are learning and apply skills you have been taught.

Mayo Goes to Nicaragua

One such opportunity was presented to me the same week of my acceptance phone call earlier this spring: a fully-funded trip to a previously unattended region of Nicaragua with a volunteer medical brigade. It was led by physicians from my institution looking to recruit our entering first-year medical school class to help lead the trip.

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.’

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.

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.

Austin Wesevich Austin Wesevich (5 Posts)

Columnist

Washington University in St. Louis


Austin is an MD/MPH candidate at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) who is taking a year off of medical school to complete a Doris Duke research fellowship in Malawi through UNC - Chapel Hill. After spending the last eight years in St. Louis as a WashU undergrad (chemistry, music) and graduate student, Austin is loving the opportunity to experience a new culture and explore his interests in global health. His column seeks to illustrate a raw, human, vulnerable lens on the joys and struggles of working abroad.

Lessons in Lilongwe

Global health work can seem glamorous, exotic, and noble. Lessons in Lilongwe presents introspection and critical observations to illustrate what global health research and living in Africa are really like. Come join Austin on his year off of medical school for a research fellowship in Lilongwe, Malawi.