Kody Nilsson, MD: Wyoming Family Medicine PGY 2

Honduras: November 2017

 As I made the terrifying landing into the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, we started the 6 hours journey to the clinic I quickly learned that each mile traveled from the capital the country was less developed. The roads became windier, steeper, dirt with many river crossings and I wasn’t sure that our mini bus was even going to make it. Agua Salada is a remote village that is 2 hours walking distance to the nearest clinic and 4 hours by vehicle to the nearest hospital. While these distances don’t sound far, the terrain is very treacherous and nobody owns a vehicle.

 My week long medical mission involved staffing the clinic as a medical provider throughout the week but also conducting home visits on two afternoons. While the clinic was mostly lumps, bumps and aches, the home visits is where I really felt the impact. I saw patients that had been bed bound for 4 years, a paraplegic who had no form of physical therapy and a 93 year-old that had grown weak and blind. While I would have loved to have modern imaging and labs, it was great to see what just words could do for these individuals, the fact that an American-trained doctor could tell them they are doing okay, offer some reassurance, teach exercises - this alone brought a big smile to their face and much relief. Over the week we were able to offer direct medical care to over 400 local Hondurans.