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 patient memory was a home visit we took in Granada. The woman was very old, almost blind, and lived on her own. She welcomed us into her home and was very giving about information regarding her personal and family life. This opportunity allowed me to see first hand the kind of health care that is available to these people and made me fully appreciate everything GMT does and stands for. Here the doctor taught us about not only the health of the patient, but also about the way of life of many Nicaraguan individuals. It was truly incredible.- Heather Berman, Junior, University of Florida