Volunteerism Can Help You as You Help Others
Charles L. Papp, MD
Remember back when you were applying for med school. There was that ominous admission essay that was going to set you apart from all those other applicants. Like me, when asked about why you wanted to be a doctor you were tempted to say,“Because I want to help people.” Of course, you realized everyone else was probably saying the same thing. And to the credit of the applicants, by and large it was true. One of the noble aspects of our profession is our desire to improve the lives of others. Now fast forward to the present. As we trudge through this cold, bleak February the administrative, governmental, and professional demands can smother the idealism of our younger selves. I have a solution for your consideration -volunteering.
I have assembled, in this newsletter, a list of opportunities both local and abroad that can provide you with a chance to practice your profession with the pure motive of altruism. The opportunities are wide ranging from urban to overseas. Here are opportunities to escape for a while from the burdens of your busy practice and join other like-minded health professionals with the sole purposeof helping others. I would like to feature five, but at the end of the article will list names and contact information for several others. This information will also be posted on the LMS website. Enjoy perusing the opportunities and I hope one catches your interest. Also, if you know of other service opportunities please contact Chris Hickey at the LMS office and he can add them to the list.
- Surgery on Sunday
This is an organization that was spearheaded by our own Dr. Andy Moore. One Sunday a month outpatient surgical and endoscopic services are offered at no cost to incomeeligible or uninsured individuals. I spoke with the Executive Director, Amanda Ferguson. The cases are all done on Sunday; however, if you have access to an outpatient center that would agree take one of these patients, they could be included in your line of cases during the week. Our practice takes endoscopycases during the week at our surgery center. Give Ms. Ferguson a call if you have an interest. She is excited about the program and would like to hear from you.
Contact: Amanda Ferguson, M.A., Executive Director
Location: 525 Waller Ave., Lexington, KY 40504
Phone: (859) 246-0046
2. University of Kentucky Shoulder to Shoulder Global
This is an opportunity for students, residents and physicians to participate in a medical clinic in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. You do not have to speak Spanish, but it is geared for family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and clinical gynecology. Shoulder to Shoulder Global is now sharing information about the 2019 brigades to Santo Domingo, Ecuador. Participants engage in a variety of cultural and service-learning opportunities while providing services such as basic medical and dental care, health education, school health screenings, women’s health, home visits and community-based learning. Cost is $1,250 all-inclusive except for one meal and RT airfare to Quito. Travel medical insurance and professional liability insurance isincluded in the brigade fee for providers. Their friendly and helpful contactperson is Chris Borie.
Phone: (859) 218-2084
The 2019 brigade dates are:
- March 9 – 17
- May 10-19
- May 31 – June 9 – *Non-clinical, includes CSD, Public Health, KHP
- August 2 – 11
3. Baby Health Service
This is an opportunity to provide healthcare for children from birth to age 17 who do not have health insurance. This charity has been going strong since 1914 when it was called Baby Milk Supply. You have probably seen the clinic at 1590 Harrodsburg Road near St. Joseph Hospital.
Phone: (859) 277-4929
4. Lexington Medical Society Mentorship Program
The LMS mentorship program was designed with the busy lives of our physician mentors and medical student mentees in mind. Our program is centralized in its support and decentralized in its execution in that the mentor/mentee decide when, where, and how often they want to meet, write, or talk. The program starts in September and culminates in May. Our program focuses, based on the advice from the medical student leadership, on third year students as they transition from two years of academics to their clinical training and education.
Contact: Chris Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO
Location: LMS, 2628 WilhiteCourt, Suite 201, Lexington
5. World Medical Mission
I included this one because several years ago, through this organization, I spent two months as a general surgeon in a rural hospital in Bangladesh. I operated on everything from a pediatric patient gored through the diaphragm by a water buffalo to a depressed skull fracture from a machete. This organization puts you where the needs are great. It is a branch of Samaritan’s Purse and as such is a faith based Christian ministry. (For a secular option see Physicians Without Borders below.) Their aim is to place physicians, dentists, and other medical personnel in mission hospitals and clinics around the world. They also offer a two-year post residency program.
Location: 801 Bamboo Rd., NC 28607
Phone: (828) 266-1056