I am sure by now that some of you have heard me refer to my recent mission-trip to Montana with Dr. Chen. When I am not working in the world I know best of-reproductive medicine, I spend a lot of my time dedicated to Life is Great Global Foundation as Director of Development.
When I decided to become a doctor, it was to help take care of people. Somehow, in the current social and economic climate of medicine, that has become more challenging than I ever expected. It is not as simple as just taking care of people and promoting health and wellness, however, I won’t bore you with the mundane. Joining the board of LIG and working toward a “greater, global cause,” has brought back that young, fresh, idealistic physician in me. Our mission at LIG is to “Provide help and proper health care to as many under privileged people as possible…”
My latest mission to Montana was to serve the people of the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana. If you have never been on a Native American reservation, I highly suggest you visit one. It will open your eyes to a part of our society, both historically and presently that is underserved in many ways. Since I brought my dear friend Dr. Chen on this trip, I decided to take a “gynecologic” back seat and participate in the civic projects. I brought my 11-year-old son on the mission so that he could see the value in simply giving of yourself and taking care of people. We participated in repair, building and painting projects at the local school. My son participated as a counselor in a camp for young children on the reservation. One day I actually did go to the clinic and spend some time with the doctors and nurses that work for Indian Health Services. It is a very different world. In that hospital in Browning, there is only one OB/GYN. That’s right…just one. If there are too many patients in the hospital, or if he needs to be away from Browning, patients have to travel 3 hours to get to another hospital! I don’t think that is something we here in New Jersey can relate to.
So perhaps on this trip, I didn’t fix anything surgically but I showed my son that there is my more to think about than when the next baseball game is, or where he left his iPad. The trip was unforgettable, unique in that it was our first domestic mission and as always, life altering. That is why I am already planning my next trip. Being part of LIG is so fulfilling that I have committed to attending at least one mission per year as long as I am physically able. I am hoping that my next mission will bring me to Peru, India or back to the Philippines (my grandfather’s birthplace). Wherever it brings me, the woman that comes back is the doctor she was meant to be and then some…
Click here, to view a write-up from Barnabas Health Newsletter about our mission.