Fourth-year TCOM students travel to Guatemala to deliver care

April 3, 2015

Students volunteer in Guatemala

A group of fourth-year students from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, led by Richard Magie, DO, recently participated in a two-week clinical rotation in an underserved area in Guatemala.

Richard and Sue Maggie

Dr. Richard Magie and his wife, Sue

The Guatemala trip was conducted in partnership with DOCARE International and Thomas Shima, DO, from Charlton Methodist Hospital in Dallas. DOCARE International is a medical outreach organization that provides much-needed health care to people in need in remote areas of the world.

Along with Dr. Magie, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and the eight fourth-years, the Guatemala team was comprised of approximately 20 members, including other medical students, residents, attending physicians, nurses and pharmacists, all of whom played a critical role in delivering patient care.

This was Dr. Magie’s eighth time to visit an international site with DOCARE. He said each trip makes him appreciate the ability to take part in a life-changing experience.

“Most of the people we served in Guatemala had to wait for long periods of time to see a provider, but they were appreciative we were there to help them,” he said. “I hope to expand our team in the future.”

The group’s makeshift clinic was set up in a rural Guatemalan village. It offered triage, patient care, osteopathic manipulative treatment, fluoride dental care, eye glasses, obstetrical and gynecological care and a pharmacy. The students were called upon to address a wide range of primary care needs, providing the future physicians with critical experience in their medical education.

TCOM student Shreya Gandhy said that health care facilities were less than ideal. But the trip reinforced her commitment to primary care.

“Throughout the experience, I felt a joy of providing care to patients in need,” Gandhy said.

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