Tag: medical mission

Lexy Adams Lexy Adams (2 Posts)

Managing Editor Emeritus

Penn State Hershey College of Medicine

Lexy is a medical student at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, where she serves as the Class of 2018 secretary and helps at the free clinic, LionCare. She completed her undergraduate degree and her Masters in Public Health at Yale University. At Yale, she played varsity field hockey, served as a freshman counselor in Branford College, and worked for the Global Health Leadership Institute. In the future, she plans to be a general surgeon in the Army and to continue her work in international health and social justice.

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.


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.

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.

Rural Appalachia: A Medical Mission in Our Own Backyard

Belize for the summer, Africa for spring break, the Philippines during winter break, and the list of medical mission opportunities goes on and on at most medical schools. Now, don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love mission trips and all of the great work that certain groups like the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and other mission-oriented organizations do for the cause. However, I feel that one vital area that definitely qualifies as a “medical mission” …

Medical Tourism: The Ethics of the Exploitation of a Vulnerable Patient Population for Financial Gain

In times of medical ailment, individuals desperately seek medical attention — in particular, a cure or treatment to alleviate their illness. In these times of need, patients turn towards physicians for a diagnosis and effective treatment plan, relying on the latest technologies and therapeutic modalities to jumpstart a return to a normal lifestyle. However, what happens when there is no treatment, no cure and no therapy? When modern medicine no longer has anything to offer, patients …

The Problem With Playing Doctor: A Critique of Student Medical Outreach from Within

“Is the pain sharp or dull?” I say to the teenaged translator next to me. Rolling her eyes, she quickly mutters something in Spanish to my distressed patient and then relays his response back in English. As she returns to texting on her cell phone, I make the final notes for this patient. Although I have reached the end of an extensive two-page history, I can’t help but feel completely unaccomplished. I’ve been told this …

Half of a Year, Halfway Across the World

Chennai, India. “How are you feeling?” I asked an elderly woman in Tamil, the local language.  She had recently been diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease at the hospital. I struggled to hide my excitement of finally being able to interact with an inpatient after three weeks of waiting for a “TB-free ward.” In the western world, we quarantine patients with tuberculosis; here they are one of the many patients in the general ward who are seen …

Getting it Right

Pharmacology is over. I sit in my house with the post-test buzz still ringing in my ear amid a rhythmic background of raindrops striking windowsills and cars sliding past outside. I doze, and the rain conjures afternoons in Borgne when the clinic visitors had slowed to a drip after the morning hubbub. The end of summer happened fast. At times I have to catch myself to remember that I am back in Rochester since the …

N’ap Kenbe / We’re Holding On

Something had happened. The hospital lies on the main stretch of road before the town of Borgne, right across from the high school, so there is always a lot of activity going on: cars going in and out of the hospital, motorbikes dropping off and picking up students, vendors selling food and cell phone credit. But this was different. The cries were not those typical of school-aged children. Plus, it was already 8 p.m., way …

Vegetarian Feasting in Guatemala

In the summer vegetables are plentiful, but I find that it’s not always obvious how to get the most out of them. Two summers ago, when I had a community-supported agriculture share and more vegetables than I knew what to do with, I found myself making some pretty inedible vegetable soups and longing for more substance. In previous years, I’ve been enamored with the same corn, tomatoes and salad every night. This summer, I’m in …

Madeline Haas Madeline Haas (16 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

Albany Medical College

Madeline Haas is a graduate of Harvard College and a Class of 2016 student at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York. Cooking keeps her sane and healthy within the limitations of the med school lifestyle and budget. Read her daily blog at The Med School Cookbook.

The Med School Cookbook

The Med School Cookbook offers a weekly account of the challenges and wonders of med school as seen through the eyes of a student. Each post includes a healthy and easy recipe designed for busy people on a budget.