Bicol Clinic Foundation, Inc.
My experience at the Bicol Clinic this past summer is not one that can be recounted in a paragraph. At first, I was hesitant to volunteer to go to a foreign country with a group of people I didn't know. The safe choice was to stay in sunny South Florida and do clinical research during my last summer of medical school. If I had known how impactful and beneficial this trip was going to be, I would have jumped at the opportunity from the beginning. While in the Philippines, I learned how to interact with my peers, how to present a case to an attending, and how to communicate with patients: skills that a medical student does not acquire until the 3rd or 4th year of medical school. I saw conditions that are only talked about in textbooks and was able to apply whatever knowledge I had of physical exams and history taking in order to help people that came to the clinic. Besides allowing me to have hands on experience that a 2nd year medical student would never get in the US, the trip reminded me of the compassionate and humanitarian side of medicine that is so easy to forget when in a competitive academic setting. Seeing a group of passionate students and physicians give up their daily comforts in order to help others was inspiring. Being around beautiful people who were grateful to the point of tears for a mere prescription of pain relievers and antacids reignited my desire to pursue a career in medicine. I could have stayed home in my air conditioned bubble and learned a lot from a research position, but I am grateful for the sweaty summer that I spent in the Philippines. It taught me more about medicine, about myself, and about life.
Florida Atlantic University
BCF has dispatched more than 100 medical students, in addition to dozens of American and foreign physicians and nurses, to provide care to more than 14,000 patients in the Philippines, Nepal and Haiti, many of whom had never before seen a physician. Our team members also volunteer in orphanages and schools to extend health care to other aspects of life. We’d love for you to be Part of the Start!Join Our Team