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Study Abroad Profile: Maria Martin

Maria Martin checking a patient's blood glucose at the Honduras clinicsMaria Martin, a second-year medical student in the College of Medicine, traveled to El Progreso, Honduras to participate in PODEMOS Medical Brigade.

“I have always looked for ways to become involved in global health. As a high school student, I spent my summers volunteering in Latin America. In college, I majored in international health. Now, as a medical student, my natural inclination was to find an organization that would allow me to stay involved in global health. The PODEMOS Medical Brigade gave me the opportunity to practice the skills I have learned in medical school and work towards improved community health abroad.”

Maria Martin working with clinic patientsProgram: PODEMOS Medical Brigade
Location: El Progreso, Honduras
Rank: Second-Year Medical Student
Major: Medicine

“I have always looked for ways to become involved in global health. As a high school student, I spent my summers volunteering in Latin America. In college, I majored in international health. Now, as a medical student, my natural inclination was to find an organization that would allow me to stay involved in global health. The PODEMOS Medical Brigade gave me the opportunity to practice the skills I have learned in medical school and work towards improved community health abroad.

The PODEMOS Medical Brigade is unique because in addition to running a biannual medical brigade to solve patients immediate problems ("acute care"), it also runs a chronic care program to manage patients with diabetes and hypertension who need follow-up throughout the year. The organization staffs a nurse who checks on patients every month to make sure they have enough medication and the right resources and information to manage their health conditions.

Honduras PODEMOS Medical BrigadeMy experience with PODEMOS has given me a better understanding of medical care in developing countries. In caring for patients, we were forced to work with limited in-country resources. For example, on one of my trips with PODEMOS, a woman came to us with severe abdominal pain. We were lucky enough to have an ultrasound machine and a physician who was experienced in performing ultrasound tests. Using ultrasound, we discovered that the woman had an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition in which a fetus begins growing outside the uterus. The woman required surgery, so we transported her to the emergency room at the county hospital. Once there, it was difficult to make sure the woman received the care she needed, as the hospital did not have enough supplies or donated blood to perform surgery. Ultimately, after our group purchased supplies needed to care for her, the woman did have surgery, and we hope that we were able to save her life by doing this. It is experiences like these that remind me how critical it is to fight for improved health care in developing countries, no matter where you are in your education or medical training.”

  • Devany

    2019 Spring Break Deadlines for Education Abroad

    Education abroad allows you to earn academic credit, fulfill requirements in your major, minor or elective coursework; experience hands-on learning  Read more ...

Education Abroad Profile

Danielle Short

Danielle Short

Danielle Short, a junior in international business, studied abroad in Senegal during Autumn 2011 through the Minnesota's Studies of International Development program.

"I lived in t ...

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