SMU Students' Spring Break Medical Mission

Appeared in: APMA News

A small group of students from the California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM), Samuel Merritt University (SMU), helped provide foot care to uninsured residents of San Ysidro, a community in California's San Diego County, earlier this month. The area is home to the world's busiest border crossing, where US Interstate 5 crosses into Mexico at Tijuana.

Students examined more than 40 primarily Spanish-speaking patients, at the Daniel F. Romero Center for Border Ministries (Centro Romero).

"We wanted to focus on a migrant population coming from border towns, because research shows those are places where healthcare is an issue," says James Johnston, fourth-year podiatry student.

This is the second medical mission for SMU students led by professor of biochemistry and immunology and director of research Peter Barbosa, PhD. Last year he took five students from the DPM program to New Orleans, where they provided a week of free clinical service in the city's Lower 9th Ward health clinic (eNews 2,550).

"Comprehensive foot care programs like ours can help reduce amputation," said Dr. Barbosa.

The three-day trip was funded in part by the Scott Beamer Community Service grant, student fundraisers, and by the Daniel F. Romero Center for Border Ministries.

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