“Life-changing” experience for health science students

They want to be nurses, doctors and dentists, but that is not their only dream.

A group of health science students who volunteered their time in the Dominican Republic this summer want to keep on giving, and they hope that others will join them.

According to team leader Eric Morrison, the students had all participated in a DREAMS (Dominican Republic Education And Medical Support) learning/service mission during high school or undergraduate school. This year, they decided to travel back to the community of Ocoa, D. R. on a service trip again, but this time more specifically relevant to their chosen health care fields. They formed a medical mission team and requested a Physician Travel Pack from HPIC.

Morrison writes: “On behalf of our group of health professional students and the ill and impoverished people of San Jose de Ocoa, Dominican Republic, I would like to thank you for providing us with a Physician Travel Pack. The majority of the medications were administered to the poorest of the poor through a clinic in Ocoa managed by Sister Teofila de los Santos and the physicians of Hospital San Jose. The availability of doctors, nurses and medication is very limited in this rural area.

“This trip was also a monumental life experience for our entire group of students. To have the chance to be directly involved in patient care with the Dominican doctors and patients was an incredible experience academically and culturally. This experience has motivated all of us to strive in our chosen professions to work for social justice and not forget the health and well being of the most vulnerable people in our world.

“It is our dream that the DREAMS program will continue to grow and allow other students to have the same life-enriching experiences that we have had working in partnership with the people of San Jose de Ocoa, Dominican Republic.”

left to right: First Row: Candis Kokoski (U of T nursing student), Ashleigh Farrell and Becky Holmes (U of T medical students).Second Row: Andrew Adams (U of Western Ontario Dental Student), Michael Savatteri (U of Ottawa medical student), Eric Morrison (MSc in Global Health student at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), and Allison Chow (Queens University medical student).