ACOM Students and Faculty Travel to India for Medical Outreach

india_outreach_2017The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) has been working diligently to expand the college’s reach internationally. In December 2016, seven students and one faculty member from ACOM traveled to Gujarat, India to participate in a medical outreach trip. The focus of the trip was to provide free healthcare to thousands of underprivileged tribal people of the Dang district and surrounding areas of Gujarat. The clinic, located in Ahwa, Dang, was created by the Kantilal J. Patel Charitable Trust of India.  In addition to the students and faculty from ACOM, the team consisted of medical students and faculty from NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic medicine as well as hospital-appointed doctors and pharmacists from in and around the Dang district. Over the course of the week the team evaluated and treated over 1,500 patients, ranging from infants to geriatrics. The students had the opportunity to travel to the Civil Hospital in Ahwa and observe a childbirth and several surgical procedures by the local surgeons.

The students performed medical interviews through the use of translators, practiced their medical documentation skills, observed dermatological procedures by a board certified Dermatologist, and observed a wide range of medical conditions like anemia, congenital heart defects, liver cancer, psychiatric disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.  The ACOM medical students also performed OMT on a large number of patients, and through their knowledge and rapidly growing skills in OMT, were able to provide relief to many patients, who otherwise had limited options for their presenting complaints. This outreach event was reported on the front page of the “Times of India” newspaper. It was an invaluable experience for the ACOM students and faculty for the medical and cultural experience. The students participating in this trip were: Robin Piper, Melina McSwigin, Maggie Vogel, Katie Blodgett, Kai Green, Chad Martinez and Wil Fleming, all OMS ll students. The faculty member serving as preceptor on this trip was Melinda Ledbetter, PA-C.