Some College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest students will spend part of their summer break in Kenya.
First-year medical students Corby Makin, PJ Bevan, Deanna LaBianca and Jason Sharp will shadow doctors in Bungoma, Kenya.
The group will volunteer at hospitals, clinics, schools and orphanages, Bevan said.
None of the students will be licensed to practice medicine, Bevan said; however, they can use their first year of medical training to diagnose diseases.
“We’ll be working under the licenses of the physicians there,” Bevan said. “Anything they’re comfortable teaching us to do, we’ll do.”
They will be able to use their first-year osteopathic training to help diagnose patients using their hands, Sharp said.
“These are some of the first patients we’ll see, even though we’re pretty limited in what we can do,” Sharp said.
Although many people speak English in Kenya, the students have been learning some Swahili, Bevan said.
“I can count to 10 and say, ‘hi,’” Bevan said.
Sharp has never been outside the U.S., and said the trip will provide a humbling experience.
“It’s a great opportunity to see the world and a great opportunity to see how medicine is different in general,” Sharp said.
Because of highly time-consuming schedules in medical school, they won’t have any time for this trip later, LaBianca said.
What students are looking forward to
Bevan said he is most looking forward to spending time with kids who will beat him in soccer. He volunteered as an emergency medical technician in Uganda four years ago.
“Your heart just falls in love with the kids,” Bevan said. “They have so much joy, it’s contagious.”
Sharp said he is looking forward to human interactions.
LaBianca said she is most looking forward to real patient interaction.
“Patient interaction is why we torture ourselves with these tests,”
LaBianca said mere hours after taking an exam.
The ultimate goal of the trip is to create a recurring trip that students make after their first year of medical school, Bevan said.
To help with the cost of expenses, Bevan started an online fundraising account at the crowd sourcing website gofundme.com.
The group plans to go whether or not they raise the $7,500, Bevan said. So far they have raised about $2,000.
“If anyone wants us to take something there, we’ll take it,” LaBianca said. “Also, any little bit helps, even just a donation of $10.”
To donate, visit www.GoFundMe.com/1ntq0s.