Mercer On Mission

2016 Blog

This blog is made and updated by Mercer undergrads. Throughout our time in Honduras, students from the various disciplines will write about their experiences serving. 

Last Day of Clinic

Today was the last day of clinic, and I believe Mother Teresa said it best, " Not all of us can do great things, only small things with great love." Small things are important: smiles, hugs, shared laughs, kisses on cheeks and a little extra time spent listening to a patient tell their story. These little things aren't exactly the things we plan on doing when we come on a trip like this-we plan on the great things: helping people better their lives, healing people of their illnesses, and seeing lots of patients and filling lots of prescriptions...but once we get here we realize that it's the little unplanned things that make the biggest difference in the end. I've been on my fair share of medical mission trips, but this is my first time acting as (almost) doctor and seeing my own patients. It is a humbling experience to sit across from a person whom I have never met telling me all about their random, seemingly unrelated medical problems; and then when they are finished they ask ME for help. For example, Honduran women are extremely shy and uncomfortable talking about feminine medical problems- things they feel they can't share with anyone- and they shared them with me. Learning intimate details about people's lives is an honor that we as physicians must not take lightly. These past two weeks were filled with many moments of discouragement, as there were many patients that we were not equipped to help; but for every moment of discouragement there were many more moments of joy. I'll choose to focus on the joyful moments: the patient who had a pterygium on his eye and needed eye protection from the sun and dust- we had one pair of sunglasses just for him; the patient with debilitating osteoarthritis who had never taken ibuprofen before and thought it was a miracle drug; the mothers who desperately wanted vitamins for their children that we were able to provide...to me these were all small things, but to my patients they were great things. The frustrating moments teach me that I can not help everyone, nor am I expected to; the joyful moments keep me filled with a desire to serve people who otherwise wouldn't be able to help themselves.  It's a beautiful journey, and I can't wait for the next adventure. 

Luke 12:48 For everyone to whom much is given, much is required.

Lauren- Medical student

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