Saturday, September 19, 2009

My first Dose of Medvouc: Medicine for the Homeless

"This is real third world medicine." the doctor with us explained. "We've got no money, we live off donations, and these people have no transportation or viable way to pay for healthcare. It is just like practicing in the third world."

Tuesday night was my first healthy dose of the medical practice. I saw patients, gave and received a flu shot, and even made a diagnosis or two. Mostly I was able to practice conducting a thorough medical history, obtaining vitals, and completing a physical exam. It was fantastic. I left the clinic really feeling like I was on my way to becoming a doctor with a strong desire to learn more. More over it was fun, and in the midst of medicine being muddled with the hard sciences of biochemistry and physiology during the first year, I was taken back to the beginning, the source of my desire to become a physician.

The smell of the homeless shelter brought back more memories than I can count from my days with the Marie Sandvick Center in Minneapolis. I recall being a helpless sophomore in college on the cold windy streets trying to explain to a man that he needed to get to a shelter. I just wished and hoped I could do more, and for the first time since I have been involved with the homeless I feel as though I made a physical difference in their lives. I was able to do more than just a coat or a bowl of soup, but even as I write this I realize more and more than I am still just a band-aid with a glimmer of home for the future.

above is a picture of the fountain square fountain in downtown Cincinnati

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