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Global Medical Training at Appstate – 2nd Summer Trip to Dominican Republic

Global Medical Training at Appalachian State University, a club at AppState, sent 14 students to the Dominican Republic this summer to provide free healthcare. These students set up clinics and worked with doctors in seeing and giving medication to an estimate of 200 patients daily. The club started 2 years ago and this was their 2nd trip to the Dominican Republic. They have about 96 members, and are continuing to grow fast.

“I am continuously amazed trip after trip, the humble strength of the people of the Dominican Republic after being struck by numerous natural disasters and trapped in chronic poverty,”I am continuously amazed trip after trip the humble strength, the people of the Dominican Republic have, after being struck by numerous natural disasters and born into immense poverty. Through GMT, I love to be able to not only help and treat the medical conditions these patients are experiencing, but also to teach them there is hope and joy beyond what they are experiencing. Thusly they teach me about perseverance, gratitude in the smallest of things, kindness, and the importance of a community. I have been going on GMT trips for the past 5 years, and yet I never quit learning and growing in all areas of my life. It is a privilege to be a part of this organization and nothing can replace it. Arley Rodriguez – President – Founder of Global Medical Training at Appalachian State University

When I first heard of Global Medical Training, I was a high schooler who was always told to go into the medical field but didn’t, at that time, have a passion for medicine. I figured doing something like GMT for the summer would be a good resume booster and would give me an excuse to travel. Little did I know, I couldn’t have been more wrong about my expectations for the trip. My first trip to the Dominican Republic through GMT is what I accredit my passion for medicine to. If it wasn’t for this trip, I honestly don’t believe I would have stayed on the same academic route or worse, I would have gotten into PA school and potentially realized that I wasn’t cut out for this profession. We recently took 14 students from Appalachian State to the Dominican Republic and I got to witness the same spark in other students that I experienced 4 years ago. GMT is a major contributor to my life’s passion. – Tristan Rodriguez – Co Founder of Global Medical Training at Appalachian State University

The Dominican Republic was an eye opening experience. I laughed, smiled, and cried. The places I worked in had trash laying everywhere, hungry children, and people in need. I am BEYOND grateful for the things I have in America than I have ever been, and I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life. Savannah Duncan – Fellow Member

Global Medical Training is International Humanitarian Organization that provides medical services to poor communities in Central American countries. Their main purpose is to offer healthcare students and professionals a truly international experience that will expand their understanding of medicine and life outside of the United States. This organization was created by North American Physician, Dr. Wil Johnson MD. He has been a lifelong humanist and has always applied his medical abilities to the implementation of this philosophy. GMT reflects this philosophy and was created on ideals to improve the conditions and well-being of a global humanity. It is grounded in the reality that palpable misery exists globally. Our objective is to provide students with a global educational experience of service to others who are less fortunate in this planetary human family. The trips are meant to be a heart and mind changing experience for all participants in this effort. They provide free healthcare services to the needy in Central America and elsewhere. They train students for their clinics and requiring crucial participation from them in the process of medical assessment and treatment. They give the students a firsthand experience on cultural, historical, social, economic and political life in these countries. GMT welcomes groups ranging from 15 to 60 students for a period of 9 to 14 days. They adjust group sizes on trips to assure high quality of service (translation/close medical supervision by MDs, DDS and ancillary professionals) and a more personalized learning experience. After arriving, the program begins with training and the following day students will start their first clinics. They provide all the medication that patients are prescribed with the help of donated medications and supplies by the students and others. Clinics are usually carried out at schools, community buildings, and local churches or anywhere there is adequate safety, security, space and roof. Depending upon the length of the trip, they try to visit hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes. Their approach is hands on patient contact medical clinics for the students. This experience is 100% interactive: students, patients, doctors all actively involved in the evaluation, assessment and treatment of medical conditions. They hire a very adequate staff of doctors, dentists, and interpreters to accomplish this. There is always professional supervision and active interaction. They have the ultimate responsibility for the final diagnoses and treatments. Participants will not just sit and watch. They will work with doctors side by side. They will be encouraged to do clinic work according to their abilities, training and comfort zone. This will always be with medical guidance/teaching and supervision. They start out with small sub-groups of 2-4 students assessing a patient. As they gain experience, this is broken down to two and even one student per patient. The more advanced they are, the more quickly they move into a one on one full patient assessment mode. This is all with full doctor assistance and supervision, but letting them take the assessment and treatment process as far as they can with each patient. We move to new villages every 1-2 days. Currently GMT has trips going to Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru. They have student organizations in various universities like: UCLA, UNC, University of Florida, University of Virginia and many others.

Blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.

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