MU med students head for Honduras
HUNTINGTON -- Students at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine are preparing to travel to Honduras with Global Medical Brigade to provide medical care to isolated villages July 6-12.
For Dr. Chuck Clements, professor of family and community health at MUSOM, this will be his sixth trip as a medical advisor for the students. He said the purpose of the trip is two-fold.
"One is to treat the people who are in isolated areas, who may lack transportation to get medical care and can't get regular doses of medicine that we take for granted," Clements said. "The other aspect, and the reason I like doing it, is it allows our medical students to see a different culture and to see illnesses and diseases that do not exist in this area. My experience has been the students get more from the experience than the people we treat."
"Every year I get more than I put into it, but that's how it's supposed to be," he said.
Clements said he does this every year because it gives him a chance to do what he is in his heart.
"I'm a doctor who teaches," Clements said. "This is a one of a kind opportunity for me to teach."
Clements said the trip is a unique opportunity to teach students to speak with authority on some different types of medicine.
This year, Clements will get to share the experience with his son, Wes Clements, who is a fourth year medical student.
"I'm looking forward to watching him learn and apply his medical skills," Chuck Clements said.
Wes Clements said he used to look critically at trips like the one he is about to embark on, mainly because he felt they didn't really change anything.
"I like this company because they really promote sustainability," Wes Clements said. "It's not like you are giving them vitamins for a week, you leave and they get sick again. They do more. They address clean water, infrastructure, dentistry. They address the whole community."
After the Marshall students leave, another group will come into the village for a week and continue the work. The clinic in the village will be open for most of the year, Wes Clements said.
I think to foster a healthy community and for a community to be successful, it is very tied to the health of individuals of a community," Wes Clements said.
The father-son duo have been on many international trips together, but Wes Clements said he is particularly looking forward to this opportunity to treat patients together.
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