Medical volunteering and the importance of supporting a cause near or far

I have been fortunate to have had the privilege in my life of receiving great educational opportunities while earning scholarships. During my training, I attended the private school Harvey Mudd College in Claremont and the University of California at Los Angeles for graduate and professional training. Following dental school, I did my Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at a Harbor-UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles, where many needy patients receive treatment.

Throughout my education, I had always hoped that I could spend time in some capacity using my education and skills in a third world country. My goal was to teach and provide services, while expanding my experience and broadening my perspective.

After completing my clinical training, I had the opportunity to spend time at a rural hospital in Mexico. There I had the chance to teach local physicians and dentists skills I had gained in triage, maxillofacial trauma, anesthesia and dental surgery. I treated many patients there including doing cleft lip and palate surgery, extractions, general surgery, general anesthesia, trauma, neurosurgery, pathology and delivering babies.

The times I spent there gave me teaching experiences as well as helping me gain confidence as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and providing care to truly needy patients. However, one of the greatest benefits of the experience has been to gain a wider perspective and more healthy values that I am sure will last a lifetime.

Daily, the experience was deeply enriching, as new friends shared the gifts of kindness, friendship and generosity with me. Although many of these new friends did not possess much by American standards, they celebrated life from the simplest of pleasures and gave the priceless gifts of friendship to me.

I have a section of this website dedicated to charities of interest. An individual’s service and support can reach one’s local community or all the way around the world.