Okay, so before I jump into this post, I just want to give you all a brief background into my medical mission. So I pursued a two-week intensive program with Child Family Health International (CFHI) Remote Island Medicine in the Philippines, and to sum it all up, I basically got a chance to shadow an appointed doctor in his hometown, or his province, along with the local midwives and nurses.
My goal for this program was to learn more about the health system in the Philippines, and to learn more about common illnesses there. My goal was achieved, but there were attachments to it, and by that I mean many of my perceptions on life has altered.
Timeline on my thoughts:
Prior to my medical mission:
A dream of mine was to go back to the Philippines, and serve my country. To know their quality of life, to find ways to better improve their quality of life. Most people will help to prepare you prior to doing a mission trip by creating a checklist for you through questions:
- “Have you gotten the recommended vaccinations?”
- “Do you know how their lifestyle is?”
- “Did you read about social and economic issues that is occurring right now?”
Yes, yes, yes to all of this.
During my medical mission:
don’t know if you all have ever done a mission trip, whether it being a church trip, a medical mission, or another type of trip that requires going to an industrialized country. The reason why I mention that is because, when we’re in America, and we mention the word “rural,” it is definitely perceived differently in another country.
In fact, our version of rural in the United States is somewhat an urban setting in some industrialized country, which is really sad. There I acknowledged that medicine has to deal with a lot of social and economic aspects, in addition to the biomedical reasons. With that being said, here are a couple of my insights that I have learned when I was back in the Philippines:
1. Have some compassion to those who don’t have enough resources
The quality of life, access to healthcare, education, and basic human needs are being taken advantage of. We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Find some time throughout the day to truly introspect on what it is that you are grateful for and show some love and compassion towards those who don’t live in the abundance of access in resources that you do.
2. Always have gratitude even if you have a really bad day
Discontentment is a factor that is supposed to make us seek for greater good, instead poisons us. We rise thinking that tangible gives us satification. Our hearts then become empty and we are layered with poison. Our materials will one day pass, thinking what is left within the flesh. If we one day want to be satisfied with divine change, listen to the spirit, instead the wants of the flesh.
3. Think Globally and Act locally
This is one of the quotes that I truly enjoy, and is in fact CFHI’s mission statement. Throughout my mission, I have ruminating upon what this quote actually means.Thus, this is my interpretation of it. So, basically it bounces back to my first two insights. Furthermore, when we hear the phrase “global,” we think international– how each countries share a relationship with another. While this is true, I think that this sentence means to have an overall comprehension of why diseases happen and how we can ultimately treat it. But here’s the thing, in order to treat a disease, a person has to be reviewed holistically. Therefore, their environment, their work life, so on and so forth.
After my medical mission:
In conclusion, my medical mission has moved to become more understanding, to become more aware, and to become a better student. So my friends, if any of you are itching to do a mission trip, do it because you never know what you will truly experience.