Students from the Samuel Merritt University Master Physician Assistant Program Class of 2010 participated in a medical mission trip to Peru between August 15-22 under the auspices of the Foundation of the International Medical Relief for Children (FIMRC). A total of 19 second year PA students and one faculty member took part staffing government hospitals and clinics, and working with other medical providers to help offer pediatric patient care and health education.
The student missionaries volunteered for 5 days at two different Peruvian sites, Trujillo on the Northern Coast and Agallpampa, a rural village 10,000 feet above sea level, and had the opportunity to use their clinical skills to provide medical relief for children of the local community by contributing to critically understaffed and underfunded medical facilities. While in Peru, students also resided with local families for the duration of the program, additionally serving as a cultural immersion.
Students were involved in assisting providers with physical examinations, monitoring of vital signs and functioning, leading interactive health education workshops, such as teaching children proper dental and personal hygiene, as well as simple wound care. Students also worked closely with parents in such programs to ensure proper water sanitization and hygienic cooking practices.