182778 Hills to climb and vistas to enjoy; the challenges of medical missions

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:00 PM

Darren M. Woodruff, BSc, BA , Podiatric Medicine, Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ
Most people in the world are altruistic and feel the need to help take care of their fellow man; physicians ought to be a major part of this group. One opportunity for physicians to share their talents and help others in need is the medical mission. The medical mission is set up to try and maximize the assistance that physicians can render in areas that are deficient of such assistance. Even though these missions are very beneficial they do not occur without their obstacles. There are many challenges that people participating in medical missions must face every time they are undertaken. These challenges range from lack of proper equipment for various reasons, to impedance of certain procedures such as the clinician not being able to follow up, and to customs and immigration problems. These challenges may be overcome on different levels in varying missions. Challenges, however, do not halt the continuation of medical missions. The altruistic work of humanity will continue even in the face of hardships. Therefore these medical missions will continue even though challenges will always be present.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify and analyze the challenges facing medical missions. 2. Assess what can be done to try and overcome challenges to medical missions.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been on a medical mission with LIGA (Flying Doctors of Mercy) to San Blas, Mexico. So, I have experienced most of these challenges first hand.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.