Student-Doctors Serve Medical Mission in Haiti

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A group of student-doctors from the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) have returned to campus for the start of the academic year, after serving a medical mission in Haiti.

Accompanied and supervised by Dr. Rodney Bates, ICOM’s Chair of Primary Care, the group of student-doctors, including: Bakir Dzananovic, Zaid Ahmed, Mehwish Choudhry, Bilal Darwish, Sarah Kaschke and Victoria Marinas, traveled more than 3,000 miles to provide much-needed medical care. 

“Our medical mission trip to Haiti was truly a humbling and life-changing experience,” Choudhry said. “It was an honor to provide medical care to the community in Miragoane.”

The ICOM team opened a pop-up clinic at the Madinah Orphanage in Miragoane, followed by another clinic for the greater community. In total, the group was able to provide care to more than 130 people, allowing for an immersive, hands-on experience for the student-doctors.

“Our medical students were involved in various aspects of the clinical evaluation of local Haitians,” Dr. Bates said. “ICOM students were able to gain hands-on experience by taking turns rotating through clinical stations set up for the initial evaluation of chief concerns and medical history gathering while working with a French/Creole interpreter; obtaining vital signs and weighing each patient; conducting a physical exam; assisting with assessments and plan of care; and discussing general self-care measures.”

While all of the student-doctors who attended the trip describe it as life-changing, the medical mission resonates a little deeper with Student-Doctor Bakir Dzananovic. The Madinah Orphanage, where one of the pop-up clinics was held, is supported by a non-profit organization called The Humanity Projects, of which Dzananovic is a co-founder.

“It’s amazing how, even though this trip was my ninth time visiting Haiti, it always feels like the first,” Dzananovic said. “I am very happy and honored to have Dr. Bates and my peers join me on this medical mission trip. I believe it was a great learning experience that will help us become better students and future physicians.”