Teresa Babineau, MD: Eastern Virginia Medical School FM Attending Physician
Honduras: March 2011

EVMS makes a medical mission trip annually to Honduras to work with the non-profit group Global Medical Brigades each year for Spring Break. The trip is not financed by the medical school but rather by the individuals who attend. As a family physician and educator I find this is a wonderful opportunity to not only practice medicine in an undeveloped country but also to work with the non-profit and mentor future medical professionals in encouraging the practice of primary care medicine as well as serving the underserved in areas without medical care around the world.

One of the best parts of the trip was the ability to make "house calls". These home visits were done with a military police escort driving a four-wheel drive truck and going literally up the side of mountains. One patient was immobilized from what appeared clinically to be Cushing's syndrome, a few were very elderly (92,89 and one who had no idea of her age) and one child who had suffered a severe meningitis at 1 month of age and had spasticity with no weight bearing at age 2 y.o.. On these home visits I was accompanied by medical students who also served as translators and were selected by a lottery system to go as all of the students who were on the trip wanted to participate. It was exhilarating to be able to use only clinical skills with no advanced testing at all available to make a change in someone's life. When Americans bring their advanced medical skills and training into foreign countries there could be no finer example of diplomacy.

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The Benjamin H. Josephson, MD Fund
Overlook Medical Center / Atlantic Health System
Summit, New Jersey
908-522-2853