Seven first- year Slippery Rock University physician assistant students (PA) and seven undergraduate students in the Pre-PA club attended a medical mission trip in Huancayo, Peru.
The group traveled through FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children) Jan. 7-15 during the winter break. FIMRC provides modern medical care to disadvantaged families worldwide by providing clinical care to underserved communities and by facilitating public health campaigns to strengthen prevention and health education.
During the medical mission trip, students had the opportunity to shadow rotations alongside Peruvian medical students in large government hospitals and private clinics while completing patient vital signs, attending suturing lessons and observing advanced surgical cases. In Huancayo, students were exposed to public and government Peruvian hospitals and clinics, providing insight to how healthcare systems run outside of the US. In addition, students had the opportunity to support orphanages and smaller government clinics with health education initiatives. These initiatives included leading sessions on proper skincare, hand-washing and anemia prevention. Through health campaigns, students were able to assist staff with flu vaccinations and fluoride treatment while providing other medical screenings for hypertension and diabetes in small rural communities.
Project Huancayo provided the students with invaluable and immeasurable experience and opportunity to learn and grow as future healthcare providers while experiencing other healthcare systems and culture. The physician assistant students also completed a three day/two night guided tour of Sacred Valley and completed a six-mile hike to Machu Picchu on a short Inca Trail.