A Physician Reflects on Their Experience in Haiti


International medicine and surgery trips to Haiti have proven to be a life-changing experience not only for medical students, but also physicians. One of our women’s health physicians reflects on his experience from this summer’s Women’s Health Trip:

The Women’s health trip to Haiti was an opportunity of a lifetime, I cannot wait to do it again. It gave me a chance to work with some great doctors and medical students and to learn from and serve the people of Haiti. I have no doubt that everyone of us came back changed for good in some fashion. While indeed it was a Women’s health trip all were welcome and we saw a full array of ailments in women, children and even in men. We implemented the best possible care we could provide these patients in this resource poor country, there was also opportunity for learning and scholarship from cases encountered. Last but probably most important, I was personally changed by the people themselves, their strength, perseverance and joy will influence my life journey forever.


Surgery and Women’s Health Trips Return!

This year’s trips were a huge success and a transformative experience for all involved. A few thoughts from some of our M2 student-doctors: The Women’ health trip to Haiti was both a personally and professionally rewarding trip. I was able to see an absolutely beautiful and interesting country, learn more about women’s health in a community with a developing infrastructure, and understand the barriers that impede health care in Haiti. -S.M. Our trip to Haiti with Medishare revolved around patient care, in less accessible areas of Haiti via mobile clinics as well as in established clinic settings. As students, we were the first healthcare providers to come into contact with the patients by triaging them, taking their vitals and discussing the problems that brought them into the clinic. We presented these patients to physicians and preformed, while supervised, pelvic exams, monitored fetal heart rates, and discussed critical aspects of maternal health with expectant mothers. The trip was invaluable in giving us first hand experience with patients and providing ob/gyn care, as well as offering us unique insight into providing healthcare in a limited-resource setting. -E.G.   Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming Medicine trip!


Research update!

On April 23rd, students and faculty from Emory Medishare will be in Orlando, Florida presenting a poster at the Association for Surgical Education.  The presentation will highlight the new “Surgery and Global Health” MS4 elective.  In June 2012, six 4th year medical students spent 21 days in Haiti as part of this elective (in which six 3rd year  and four 2nd year students also participated for 7 days each).  The poster can be downloaded at the following URL: http://medstudenttrips.org/resources/publications/.


Surgery Trips Featured in ACS Bulletin

Emory Medishare’s retrospective essay, “A win for all: faculty-student partnerships in surgical humanitarianism,”  was recently published as the cover article of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. You can read the article here



Medicine Trip Thanksgiving 2012

The annual Medicine trip over Thanksgiving week was a wonderful experience for all involved. Below is a testimonial from one of the trip leaders, Lindel:

After this trip, I remembered why I had wanted to come back to Haiti. With trip date changes and difficulty recruiting doctors and students to go on a Thanksgiving medical trip to Haiti, there had been times of hesitation about continuing, but I’m so glad we didn’t give up on this trip. The core team consisting of 8 students, 2 physicians, and 2 translators worked so well together and alongside the Haitian doctors and translators. We were able to support Project Medishare in their role in the community through mobile clinics, and were even able to help a few patients with emergency transportation to the nearest hospital. We also learned a lot. We learned about the Haitian people, their community, their schools, their sources of food and water, their way of living. We learned about the limits of rural/mobile medicine. We learned about how Medishare works to further its health goals for Haiti under the Ministry of the Health. Trip highlights included:

  1. “Continuity of care”
    1. our pediatrician seeing a family she had seen the year before
    2. seeing a child,  from the year before, with a cleft lip and palate, still surviving
    3. seeing patients’ charts filled with the last few years of health visits
  2. Making a difference
    1. Being able to provide emergency transportation to the hospital for a man with CHF exacerbation, a women going into labor, and a young man with a dangerous eye infection
    2. Making the diagnosis of cervical cancer in a patient in clinic and being able to give her referral to a hospital for treatment
  3. Having one of our team members, Bryan Goolsby, help teach an English class to local Haitians
  4. Being serenaded by the “Troubadour of Thomonde” and experiencing other local flavor
  5. Seeing the incredible amount of joy provided to a group of school children when provided with something as a simple as a small soccer ball by one of our translators, Mason.

All in all, it was a great trip to Haiti. We arrived there and back home safely, we helped patients, we helped Medishare, we learned a lot, and we had fun doing it all.

Below are some images that were submitted by Cathy and Francois please enjoy.


Surgery Trip Featured in Emory Surgery

The efforts of the Emory Medishare Surgery Trip have recently been featured in the Emory Surgery Newsletter! Congratulations to everyone involved for your hard work and dedication!

There were many exciting changes to the structure of the Surgery trip this year, most notably moving from a 1 week trip to a 4 week Senior elective that also involved two 1 week trips for 2nd  and 3rd year medical students. It was a very exciting year for all involved.

See the article below:

Emory Surgery Article


Health Sciences Article on EM

Emory Medishare has received some exciting publicity yet again! There is a featured article in the Health Sciences Fall 2011 Magazine. The article highlights work done by the Summer 2011 Medicine Trip.

To read the article click here.


Surgery Trip Grand Rounds

The surgery trip M3s are presenting the Surgery Grand Rounds this Thursday, Oct. 20th at 6:45 am in the E Wing Auditorium of EUH (2nd floor).  Feel free to attend their presentation!

Good luck to the M3s!

Questions? E-mail Lee Hugar at lhugar@emory.edu or Leilah Zahedi at leilah.zahedi@emory.edu.


Women’s Health Trip Lecture 9/14

The 2011 Emory Medishare Women’s Health Trip is giving a lecture at this week’s Family Planning Series for the Department of OB/GYN at Grady.

The lecture will be happening on Wednesday, September 14th from 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm in FOB 103 at Grady Hospital for all or anyone who is interested in attending.

The 2011 Women’s Health Trip focused its efforts on reproductive health training and helping to promote family planning during their time in Haiti. Several of the students who attended received credit toward their OB/GYN rotation for their efforts and their investment in the betterment of women’s health in Haiti.

See you Wednesday!


2011 Emory Medishare Surgery Trip

The 2011 Emory Medishare Surgery trip was a huge success.  Over the course of five and a half days, our team performed life altering operations on 30 patients.  Thanks to Project Medishare’s organization and radio announcements, our patients were able to travel from all across Haiti to receive surgical care.  Hernias were repaired.  Prostates and other masses were removed.  Two lives were saved; one from the clutches of sepsis and the other from a traumatic machete injury to the arm.

In addition to bringing specialized surgical care to the undeserved of the Haitian Central Plateau, we gained invaluable hands-on training in the operating rooms and on the wards.  Every Emory student provided stellar patient care, taking great pride in the difference they were making in their patient’s lives.  The amount of learning crammed into that one week undoubtedly has had a profound impact on everyone that participated in the trip.  Our lessons came courtesy of our fantastic patients, dedicated faculty and extremely hard working nurses.  Most of all, the second and third year medical students, working together, taught one another constantly throughout the week.  A strong core of underclassmen are already stepping up to lead next year’s trip.  In 2012, Emory Medishare will continue to make strides toward providing specialized surgical care in the central plateau.

Emory Medishare