Fourth year students may participate in this four week elective. In conjunction with the NGO, Bridges to Community, TUSM sponsors 6-8 students to participate in organizing and running medical clinics and developing and executing educational workshops in remote communities of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) of Northeastern Nicaragua. I. Students will organize medical clinics conducted for rural communities in RAAN. Activities include learning about the culture and needs of the population they will serve, identification of clinic supply needs and donors, identification of pharmacy supply needs and donors, deciding what supplies will be bought in Nicaragua and communicating with NGO staff, fund-raising for needed supplies, identification of independent project subject and preparation of outside reading.
Other activities include:
- Setting up medical clinics: organize and distribute medication, organize and distribute medical supplies
- Running daily clinics: under supervision of attending physicians, students will see patients from rural communities, identify major complaints, perform targeted physical examination and develop a plan of treatment (60-100 patients per day).
- Delivering “porch talks” to waiting patients: capitalize on the audience and ability to convey health information
Students will develop and deliver educational workshops for community health leaders on health topics including but not limited to: breast feeding, prenatal nutrition, wound assessment and management, clean water management, clean air, nutrition and health, management of diarrheal illness, family planning, STDs, and musculoskeletal health.
Students will be expected to maintain a patient log and reflection journal as a tool to capture the different patient encounters and their relation to health issues in the population, knowledge obtained and skills acquired. Students will be expected to complete an independent project in one of general areas of nutrition and health, diarrheal diseases, water purification, pregnancy and health, domestic violence, asthma and lung disease or other topic. Projects may address screening, diagnosis, treatment, quality improvement, education or any management of these disease areas in resource limited settings. Projects may be based on specific patients, health system issues specific to RAAN or a literature review.
There is no language requirement to participate in this program, however Spanish proficiency is recommended. Students are housed with a local family in very basic accommodation.
Richard Rohrer, MD