Sean Buck (2015)

Reflections:

“…The unique aspect of my time with MIF was interacting with a group of people who were both a part of the community and also had a hand in creating sustainable change. Medical missions can be a slippery slope of people dropping in for a bit, providing some care, and then leaving nothing behind. The reason I agreed to be a part of the MIF mission was because of that sustainable change that could occur they were on the ground and integrated into the community.”

“… While I had experienced medicine in a developing country prior to my experience in Nigeria, I was continually struck by the number of children with malnutrition and anemia that we saw at the mission. Since I had some knowledge of the lasting effects of anemia, it was concerning to me to see so many children already behind. I was continually reminded about the resources available to children in developed countries. One patient had recurrent seizures, but because he did not have access to and MRI or other tests due to the hospital strikes…I couldn’t help thinking that if his seizures had been treated earlier, he’d wouldn’t have had such impaired brain function. I believe this is a patient who will stick with me throughout my medical training because of the stark disparities that were present. I felt that if he had access to medical care that he would have been healthy and functional.”

“…I felt that getting sick in Nigeria was a completely different experience from falling ill in America. In America, I’m confident that I can go to a hospital that is open, functional, and has seemingly unlimited tests and treatments to throw at any disease with which I might present. It was interesting to have even a glimpse at the healthcare insecurity that Nigerians experience on a daily basis—and we were relatively secure.”

“My experience in Nigeria was amazing and positive, and I will absolutely never forget their hospitality. I will treasure and appreciate the generosity that I experienced in Nigeria, as well as the disparities I witnessed and the people working to rectify those issues.”