When I initially signed up to attend the medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I knew that God would use the experience to work in my life and in the lives of others around me. However, I did not expect the lessons I learned from so many people. Although traveling to a foreign country is exciting alone, the medical experience, spiritual influence and guidance, and lifelong connections I gained from the trip are what made it one of the best experiences of my life.
As I was boarding the plane to fly from Jacksonville, Florida to New York City to meet the team, I was excited, but I also thought about all the ways I was not prepared for the trip. I immediately began to think that my Spanish was not fluent enough to communicate effectively with the people in the clinics and that I was just a hopeful future physician. When I met the team members at the airport to board the plane for Santo Domingo, we all instantly connected. I felt as if I had known these people most of my life. I was reminded that God brings together His people and equips each person to accomplish His perfect mission.
After traveling from the capitol to the mountains to set up the clinic, I was ready for the week ahead. For all the clinic days, I rotated through the triage area taking vitals and presenting symptoms, worked in the pharmacy, and worked with each physician in his and her specialty to get a broad perspective on medicine. It was especially nice to see what medicine would be like without extensive EMR and documentation to avoid being sued, as this exists in some areas of the world.
Although the medical experiences were beyond what I even hoped for, perhaps the most important lesson I was able to take from this trip is how to use medicine to amplify God’s kingdom. It is nice to be able to temporarily “fix” one’s medical ailments; however, it is even better to treat those physical issues and also provide help for one’s personal life. Being able to share God’s love and truths with the patients was something that I had never seen in the medical field prior to the trip. The physicians on the trip mentioned to me that they consistently live to share God’s love in their practices each day they work because of what God has done for them. Being able to learn from these well-respected physicians and how they practice medicine was something that I will continue to practice throughout my pursuit to become a physician.
This is only the beginning. #AmplifyingGodsKingdom