Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

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Monday, February 8

Mobile Clinic

14 Adults in one pickup truck!

What do you get when you combine 14 volunteers, medical supplies, and a pickup truck? You get a mobile medical clinic, that’s what. 

We took our show on the road this past week and we went to a small village called El Rincón, which is about 2 ½ hours away by truck. We literally put 14 people, and medical supplies (which includes a pharmacy) into one truck and hit the road.  This is the first time that FIMRC has gone to this particular location so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. We left Restauración at 5:30 AM, got to El Rincón around 8:00 AM and set up the clinic. Patients started to arrive shortly after we arrived and they kept coming all day long.  They heard that a doctor would be there today and they came from literally miles away in what I will describe as rather unforgiving terrain.

Samara doing intake

The drive to El Rincón

Mina finds coffee!!

   We had volunteers setup outside doing intakes and getting vital signs. We had a few volunteers inside running the pharmacy and some directing traffic.  We would see patients with the aid of a translator and the supervision of a doctor.  We saw many familiar conditions like high blood pressure, dehydration, URI’s and UTI’s. We also saw many other conditions that are not common in the US like parasitic infections, many different types of skin fungal infections, and even a case of the mumps for good measure. Diagnostics wasn’t an option, nor was follow-up with your PCP in a few days.  Watching the practice of medicine under these conditions was quite interesting.  Everything was based on experience and clinical judgment. 

Rick sees a few kids

People patiently waiting to be seen

The patients just kept coming and coming, no matter what we did the line outside never seemed to budge.  Before the day was over we saw close to 150 people. Men, women, and children from all over the surrounding area. Many traveled far distances and waited all day just to have the chance to be seen by a doctor, and as far as I know, there weren’t any complaints about waiting.  We were able to finish with the last few patients just as we were running out of daylight. An important point because electricity is not available in El Rincón.  We packed up our supplies, crammed everything back into the truck and headed for home.  It was a long, long day, but it was the most rewarding one so far.

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