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Honduras medical mission eye-opening, thought-provoking experience for pre-med student

The Faith and Humanity team setup clinics in remote towns, like the mountainous Ocote Paulino.
By Alexis Bennett, News and Community
June 20, 2019

Boise State University pre-med and physics student Garrett Tisdale is on his first medical mission trip to Honduras with the Faith and Humanity Medical Mission team. In his on-the-ground correspondence, he reflects on technology, health and opportunity in Honduras and his desire to continue to pursue medical research to help others. 

As a physics student, this trip has been about witnessing the applicability and development of modern science and philosophy in underdeveloped regions of the world.

It’s been fascinating to witness the juxtaposition between advanced technologies and old technologies, like seeing an ox-drawn carriage a few miles from a gas station with LED lighting. 

The economic structure and realities of life in Honduras cause me to contemplate my own privilege and opportunity.

Honduras’ economic structure shows that the most highly educated positions cannot exist without a well-established base. It’s humbling to know that my own role as student and studying philosopher can only be supported because of the prosperity of my community. 

In Honduras, for example, low-skill labor is more prevalent than the specialties that exist in the United States—specialties that allow me to pursue a medical research and biophysics degree.

Without a healthy environment to thrive, the individual is hindered in their ability to grow.

I’ve now seen this firsthand. Without the basic resources of good health, clean drinking water and access to healthy foods, it becomes difficult for people to survive, much less realize their potential.

Tisdale helps collect and label urine samples at the pop-up clinic.

The Faith and Humanities mission trips help remove the barrier of general health.

I’ve played a role in this and my goal is to continue.

I hope that the science I’m pursuing will provide the medical resources to make health more attainable for people in Honduras, ultimately enabling them to pursue their infinite potential.

Observing doctors working with patients confirms my desire to enable others’ success through my own academic endeavors—namely medical research. It’s also taught me the value of good management and its place in all areas of life.

Watching the mission group work together and adapt is a lesson that will aid in my scientific endeavors.

About The Author

Alexis Bennett is a consultant for St. Luke's Community Health and Engagement.