Seven students and two faculty members spent March 6-9 in Immokalee giving free health screenings in partnership with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida.
"We had an amazing week for service," said Dr. Javier Rosado, FSU Clinical Assistant Professor. "Our students touched the lives of the Immokalee community as they served literally hundreds of local migrant farm-workers."
During the week, the med students spent their time in the fields, migrant housing camps and parking lots where workers find work. Through this service learning experience, students were able to see firsthand pathology that they had only read about previously.
"They now better understand the importance of providing compassionate care," said Dr. Rosado. "As I reflect on the week, I am inspired by the resiliency of the patients we serve. Many are individuals that persevere despite some very significant challenges, and I now better understand how privileged we are to serve our patients."
He noted this opportunity would not be possible without the partnership of the Healthcare Network.
"Their selfless efforts and compassion have taught the Immokalee community that we can be trusted with their healthcare," he said. "The Network's staff has also been wonderful with our young enthusiastic first year students, welcoming them with open arms and helping to provide them with a memorable learning experience."
During the four days of outreach, students helped conduct vision and hearing exams, checked blood pressure and monitored vital signs aboard the Healthcare Network's Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®.
"That's the most rewarding part about the process," said second-year student Gesnyr Ocean, "because the people who can't afford it are most times the ones who need the most help."
Ocean says this experience is inspiring him to go into primary care medicine and return to Immokalee for the school's community medicine rotation.