Service Learning Trips - Panama 2013
In April of 2013, eighteen TEAC medical students, two Temple University Hospital attending physicians, Dr. Lleras Samuels and Dr. Alvin Wang, along with chief emergency medical resident Dr. Jim Miranda and pediatrician Dr. Eyda Samuels, traveled to Panama to assist communities with limited access to medical care. The TEAC team provided free medical care, counseling, and medications in a weeklong medical clinic that was open to the surrounding communities of Capira. Common conditions encountered and treated included diabetes, fungal infections, gastroesophageal reflux disease, high blood pressure, leishmaniasis, musculoskeletal pain, scabies, and upper respiratory infections. Procedures included gynecological exams, suturing, and wound dressing. Over the course of a week, TEAC provided care to approximately 500 patients that might otherwise have not been seen. TEAC distributed hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste to patients. TEAC provided handouts to patients about diverse health conditions in an effort to improve patient education. TEAC’s remaining medications were donated to a community health center in Capira.
Members also visited a grade school in Capira to present health literacy talks to children, ages five to fourteen years old, about good hygiene, adolescent health, and sexual health. TEAC students organized a book drive in Philadelphia and donated over one hundred books to the school. The TEAC trip was an enriching and memorable educational experience that will continue to inspire us on our medical journey to improve the health of communities that are affected by disasters and lack access to quality medical care.