A team of Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine students, faculty physicians, a medical resident and other health care workers from the tri-state community traveled to Honduras earlier this month for an international mission that resulted in medical care for nearly 1,060 patients.
One of the students described the experience as a seminal event in his life. The Marshall team provided health care to men, women and children including general physicals, medication dispensing, Pap smears and dental care.
“It is an amazing experience to see your classmates make the leap from student to practitioner, and to watch the second-year students get their first exposure to operating a clinic,” said John M. Davitt, a fourth-year medical student and co-organizer of the trip. “The level of compassion, teamwork, and enthusiasm that everyone displayed throughout the week was truly inspiring, and was responsible for making this such a successful brigade.”
Aaron M. Dom, a fourth-year student who also served as co-organizer, said the team traveled daily six hours round trip to a remote community where they provided health care to hundreds every day.
“I’m very impressed and proud of our team’s work. What surprised me most was how much our group gained from this trip. We went to Honduras with a purpose of providing care to the people without health care access, but I think we actually ended up with an even more rewarding experience than the patients,” he said.
The Honduras mission has become an annual event for Marshall medical students interested in global health care and is the outgrowth of an initiative to memorialize a Marshall School of Medicine graduate killed in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
An endowed fund honoring Paul W. Ambrose, MUSOM Class of 1995, significantly underwrites the annual mission trip. Ambrose’s parents, Dr. Kenneth and Sharon Ambrose, also have personally supported the international medical trips and Sharon Ambrose, a retired nurse, has traveled with the team on several occasions, including this year.
Donations of medical supplies and medications from Marshall Health, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy and the school of medicine’s annual Mission M-Possible 5K also helped support the trip.