SPBRC hosts Texas A&M College of Medicine Student Volunteers

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) hosted a group of 14 medical students from Texas A&M College of Medicine. The students were in Belize as Vacation Volunteers, and were San Pedro Town from Saturday, March 14th though Tuesday, March 17th. They had opportunities to visit several medical centers across the island, including the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.Texas A&M Medical Students Poly Clinic Visit-1
Group leader Takashi Hirase reached out to SPBRC volunteer Laurie Norton after seeing a 2013 Tacogirl post on TripAdvisor asking about the potential health-related volunteering opportunities in San Pedro. The group was initially scheduled for one week volunteering at the Corozal Community Hospital, but after seeing the post decided to split their time and also volunteer in San Pedro. Since SPBRC is already working on bringing volunteer groups to San Pedro while encouraging responsible tourism, they willingly accepted Hirase’s request. The group arrived in San Pedro on Saturday, March 14th and enjoyed several recreational activities including a sunset cruise with Ecologic Divers.Texas A&M Medical Students Poly Clinic Visit-3
On Monday, March 16th, SPBRC organized a visit and tour of the facilities at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Due to lack of time, the medical students were unable to receive approval from the Ministry of Health to volunteer at the Polyclinic. While they were unable to help out, the group was more than happy to meet all the doctors and learn about tropical diseases and medical treatment offered at the Polyclinic. Polyclinic Administrator, Owen Vellos explained the dynamics of how the clinic operates and the range of patients tended. The students even asked several questions to gain a better understating of tropical diseases and medical help/aid in Belize.Texas A&M Volunteers Medical Visit-5
In the afternoon, the students made visits to private medical practitioners on the island, including Ambergris Hope Clinic, San Carlos Medical Clinic, Clinica Los Pinos and Dr. Lerida’s Medical Clinic. The students got to experience each clinic and see how they operate, with the resident doctors sharing their medical experience and what it is like to practice medicine in Belize. They also learned about the type of medical services offered at each clinic. At the end of the day the students were able to compare how a public and private clinic operates in San Pedro.Texas A&M Volunteers Medical Visit-6
On Tuesday, March 17th, SPBRC arranged a visit to the San Pedro Hyperbaric Chamber, where the group was excited to learn about the dive safety mechanism in San Pedro and the services offered by the chamber. Later in the afternoon the group departed for Corozal Town where they will be staying for the next four days volunteering at the Corozal Community Hospital.Texas A&M Volunteers Medical Visit-7
The medical students will return to San Pedro on Saturday, March 21st for one more day of volunteering. They will be helping with SPBRC first aid training course and tour San Mateo. The group is scheduled to leave Belize on Sunday, March 22nd.

SPBRC would like to thank Pedro’s Hotel, Caribbean Villas, Ecologic Divers, Seaduced by Belize, Licks Beachside Café, Taste of Thailand, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic, Ambergris Hope Clinic, San Carlos Medical Clinic, Clinica Los Pinos and Dr. Lerida’s Medical Clinic for helping make their first Volunteer Vacation a great one.


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