About GMT

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Global Medical Training

North American Physician, Dr. Wil Johnson, MD created this organization. Dr. Wil transitioned from 28 years of a rural private practice in the USA after deciding to lifetime volunteer his time and medical / teaching skills for the benefit of others .  He had deep humanitarian ideals that needed fertile soil to flourish. He also desired to help the impoverished of Central America and provide a heart and mind changing experience for trip participants from other cultures.

History

Dr. Wil has been doing this type of humanitarian work in C.A. since 2001. Initially he worked through other organizations. Eventually he decided to start serving with his own particular vision of objectives, methods, and outcomes.

GMT was founded in 2003 and began trips Jan 2004. We are a legally registered non-profit organization in Costa Rica. We based our organization there and have expanded to serve in Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Method

The participants will travel to Central American countries and communities where there is a great need for medical attention. Upon arrival, students will receive specific orientation and training for the clinics and the trip.

Our approach is student centered teaching /learning and active student participation in the process of medical assessments and treatments. Learn by doing. We will frame this within the context of various health care systems. We will analyze the comparative fairness, goodness, outcomes, dollar value, and failings of various systems.

Many issues will be discussed, e.g. the relationship of poverty, education, and Public Health to illness / well- being.

Students will be exposed to a medical environment where they will be allowed to observe AND actively participate in the medical assessments / treatments of patients who have scarce economic resources, poor access to healthcare, and have to live within various primitive types of Public Healthcare systems. We do this in various settings: urban and rural. This will include GMT clinics, visits to hospitals, other health facilities, and patient’s homes. We employ local doctors, dentists, interpreters, and guides to teach, inform, and help supervise the trips. We utilize local community citizens to help in the clinics.

We will inform trip participants about the culture, history, politics, comparative healthcare systems, and Public Health problems of the countries in which we travel. We teach them how to apply that information to their experiences during clinics. We will reflect upon and discuss the medical and cultural experiences, and integrate this into action plans that will improve the well-being of these people. Medical and other professionals will be responsible for closely supervising, teaching, and nurturing this process.

 

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My favorite non-clinic memory from the trip was getting to know the doctors after clinic sessions. I felt that I learned a lot from them because they were the ones who guided our medical training at all times in the clinic. This is important because they earned my respect in this manner. I also learned that the doctors from Panama are extremely different from the doctors here in the United States. I can say that the doctors from Panama have more wisdom than the doctors over here due to the social level of patients that they deal with in their everyday lives. More so, apart from clinically diagnosing them, Panamanian doctors have a higher probability of diagnosing patient's with psycho-social problems apart from health related issues. Whereas, this is not so common here in North America.- Angela, Junior, Hunter College