Who Do Medical Missions?
February 1st, 2008 by INMED
Vast wealth and medical knowledge benefit the world’s affluent, while some three billion persons still lack even the most basic health care. In response, interest in selfless service among health professionals has never been higher.
Jean Fields, RN, MSN, is one who makes international service an intimate part of her career. Says Jean, “Through the media we all hear and see the inequities and disparities in global health care. But until one becomes immersed in it, painful truth is often less than real. Serving in Jamaica, for example, I cared for people who have never even worn shoes before. These experiences broadened my world-view, and made me grateful for my many undeserved blessings.”
Today, Jean Fields is on the teaching faculty at Research College of Nursing imparting her insight among nursing students. “Medical missions has helped me develop a deeper compassion and sensitivity to the cultures and physical needs of all people, and thus I am able to provide much better nursing care to my clients. I encourage all health care professionals to expand and explore your world while sharing your unique expertise as a healthcare provider in the international service.”
Brent Hambrick, MD, is another who makes international service an intimate part of his career. Says Brent, “Doctors usually miss the point about personal wealth and personal satisfaction. The two just don’t equal one another. My wife and I intentionally chose to live modestly and to save our money. We then moved to Honduras to give medical care for people enormously less privileged.”
Eight years later, what began at a one-year commitment has become an entire career track for Dr. Hambrick. “Together with national churches, we organize medical teams traveling to the most isolated people in the country, caring for people like this little boy photographed with me. If he gets malaria or typhoid, chances of dying are very high. But our teams offer hope where there was little before. What could possibly be more satisfying?”
Learn more of Jean Fields’ and Brent Hambrick’s insights by joining us for their presentations at the Exploring Medical Missions Conference, May 30-31. Our theme this year is “Launching Into Medical Missions,” where we will take a detailed look at how we as health care personnel can equip ourselves with the necessary professional, cross-cultural and personal skills to serve in low-resource nations. We will also consider how to select a sending organization and to choose a community in which to serve. At the 2008 Exploring Medical Missions Conference you can connect with like-hearted people and experience all that is very best about health care: compassion, excellence, and expediency for those people most in need!