This video tells a story that goes to the very heart of what clinical service learning should be all about. It’s not about racking up some clinical hours for your medical school application, but about spending time with a real community that is learning to heal and care for itself. It’s about seeing the cultural, historical, and social contours of medicine around the world–the triumphs and missteps, the needs and the talents required to meet them, and the passion of people everywhere to help, build, and thrive.
UH has had a relationship with the community of Santa Ana, Honduras for some years, in part through the Optometry program’s visiting clinics that have worked there. Baylor College of Medicine has also helped this community with its medical needs, and spawned a now-independent NGO, Houston Shoulder to Shoulder, which continues to support the clinic and staff that attend the local community. Now, Ricardo Nuila, MD regularly takes a team of UH undergraduates to the clinic for an intense experience in learning, helping, and leaping into a world of global medicine.
This video is the work of a talented UH alumna, Abigail Hagan, who applied her growing professional skills as a photographer and videographer to capturing the essence of this experience. A service learning team needs many skills—clinical, linguistic, photographic, culinary—so keep your mind open to these kinds of trips. They’re not just for pre-meds by any means, and everyone is on the same level when they confront the scariest zipline in the world (just watch the video, you’ll get it).