Overseas Clinical Experiences
Over the past ten years, the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama (CMMSA) has provided participants from the University of South Alabama with medical mission trip opportunities. Approximately 275 medical students, 30 residents, and 35-40 physicians have helped provide much needed medical aid to communities in ten overseas countries, including Rwanda, Honduras, Cambodia, Nepal, and Kazakhstan.
These mission trips enable medical students to hone their skills through hands-on opportunities in a variety of fields such as surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics while working alongside local physicians. While some sites have existing hospital and clinical facilities, others require establishing makeshift facilities. In doing so, participants not only bring healthcare to desperately underserved communities, but they also provide a range of services such as pharmacy, laboratory, physical therapy, and health education.
Medical students are immersed in the culture, learn to navigate patient care with limited resources, overcome language barriers, and apply concepts learned in a classroom to real-world situations. They point to building trust, forming bonds with other students, patients and members of the community, and seeing firsthand the impact medical professionals have in the lives of vulnerable patients, as a valuable reminder of why they chose a career in medicine.
Mission work will resume as COVID-19 vaccinations increase and travel restrictions are lifted.