Students Give Back
UST members of the Pre-Health Professions Society embraced the University’s mission of service to others when they invested their time and effort into helping poverty-stricken villagers in Central America during a summer 2007 medical mission trip.
Under the direction of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, 14 students traveled to the small community of Las Delicias in El Salvador to help build a medical facility for locals. They also assessed the needs of the community’s people and taught children about the importance of cleanliness and dental hygiene for overall health.
Medical mission trips, initiated by the PHPS, give students firsthand patient-care experience within the context of a service learning environment and allow students to transfer classroom and laboratory education to the field. Students who had volunteered the most time to PHPS over the past year were chosen to go on the trip. Christina Ayad, Caroline Duong, Karina Michael, My Dao, Christian Avalos, Misbah Mohammed, Margaret Vo, Hector Rojas, Jacky Flores, Isabelle Kusters, Danielle Schwartzenburg, Elena Doan, Maria Liset Gomez and Alec Marin were among those who went.
“I will never forget El Salvador,” Caroline Duong, UST senior, said. “Medical missions is definitely something I will be a part of in the future. There is just something about the people, the relationships, the work and the overall knowledge that whatever you can offer is well received that makes mission work unforgettable.”
The purpose of the Pre-Health Professions Society is to create a more informed and competitive health professions student in preparation for a career in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and other health-related occupations. UST boasts a 72% medical school acceptance rate.
The Brown Foundation provided significant support for the trip, as did the UST Council of Clubs and TrustMark Bank.