Three second year SCNM students decided to selflessly give up their coveted break off school to travel to Thailand and provide medical aid to those in need.
SCNM spoke to these compassionate women to find out what it was like to give aid in a third-world country.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
I’m Kristen McCormack. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in nutritional sciences—go Green! My passion for medicine includes pediatrics and global health. I am currently a trip coordinator for Naturopaths without Borders (NWB) and I volunteer in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. I am also a committee lead for the 2015 NMSA-SGA gala that raises community awareness of Naturopathic medicine. I strongly believe in Maya Angelou’s quote, “When you get, GIVE. When you learn, TEACH.”
I’m Shannon Bennett. I am a second year student, and my interests lie in global health and mind-body medicine. I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise medicine and a minor in dietetics. I have been involved with NWB-SCNM and NWB-Global since my first quarter here, volunteering in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and Haiti. During my first year I also held the Global Health Chair position with NMSA, fundraising and raising awareness of global health with through events such as Global Health Week. Most recently, I volunteered with “Where There Is No Doctor” with the Northern Burmese hill tribes of Thailand.
I’m Cara James. I graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with degrees in Spanish literature and international affairs. My passions include global health, women’s health and pain management. I am involved with Natural Speakers, NWB and am my class’s vice president. I have done global health volunteer work in Mexico and Costa Rica working with HIV/AIDS patients.
What is “Where there is no Doctor?”
We volunteered with the Thailand hill tribes. The main object of “Where there is no Doctor” is to influence change in aspects of the delivery of health services in rural and remote Thailand, and to advance the understanding of and to improve the health, development and quality of life both for children and adults in high-risk situations. We take yearly trips on our two-week spring break each year.
What sort of activities did you engage in while treating the hill tribes?
We provided free medical treatments to the sick in a village bamboo hut clinic as we moved around Northern Thailand. We normally stayed 2-3 days in a village to hold a clinic, which includes checkups, medical testing, prescription refills and patient follow-up.
What was the major take-away of your journey?
Seek out education in different communities, whether near or far! Working with Dr. David and the hill tribe communities provided an experience beyond the classroom that will have a lasting effect on the way we care for our patients.