SMU Students & Faculty See 400 Patients in 3 Days While in Panama

"It was awesome," said Sharon Gorman, Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, about the latest trip to Panama. (read more about medical missions here)

"We had a huge group, and the trip included the usual unplanned experiences - like having to hike up/down the steepest part of the 4 hour off-road portion of the trip so the big truck we were all in didn’t tip over!"

"Traveling to Batata to provide healthcare was the coolest, craziest, most life changing thing I have ever done," said Angela Ireland, Physician Assistant student, class of 2015.

"Our April trip to Panama was an amazing experience, that made me reminisce of my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer," said Chris Ayeko, ELMSN-FNP (Entry-Level Masters of Science in Nursing- Family Nurse Practitioner) student. "This medical trip was the epitome of interprofessional collaboration with BSN, CMMPA, DPT, and FNP students all working together to provide health care and health education for indigenous people in rural Panama. I enjoyed this experience so much, that I'm going back in August!"

"The medical brigade to Panama profoundly effected my outlook on my role as a health care professional. I got to explore a country and its culture, I made new friends, expanded my understanding and respect for the other programs and their scope of practice, gained invalubale experience treating patients with my professors teaching me along the way, and got the opportunity to be part of an interprofessional team devoted to treating each individual with quality care and respect," said Megan Mullin, second year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student. "I came back from Panama with a new perspective on life and changed personal life priorities. I now want to devote my life to developing nonprofit organizations and continue to volunteer on medical brigades around the world."

While in Panama, the  group collected research data (Institutional Review Board-approved) and successfully added a health education piece to their clinic offerings.

"We saw 400 patients in three days," added Gorman. "It was the amazing interprofessional experience for the students that it always is."

Click here to see photos!

Many thanks to the participants who shared their photos with us.

Read more about the International Healthcare Club here.

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