Meredith Miller, M.D., of Raleigh, North Carolina is Project HOPE’s first recipient of the Dr. Charles A. Sanders International Residency Scholarship. The scholarship, which is funded by the North Carolina GSK Foundation, provides funding for a current medical resident from the state of North Carolina to practice medicine in a supervised capacity at one of Project HOPE’s program sites in the developing world. Dr. Miller spent one month in early 2013 practicing medicine at the Herrera and Monte Plata clinics in the Dominican Republic.
With the help of the local program director, who is one of the most organized, efficient, respected and loved leaders I have worked with, I have been able to arrange visits to emergency departments and hospitals in the Dominican Republic. These visits have been quite eye-opening experiences in which I have been able to interview, examine, diagnose and treat patients - again under the supervision of a local pediatrician.
The resource and personnel limitations in the Dominican Republic are something I had not previously experienced during my medical residency. It has been instructive to learn how the health care providers here have fought to overcome those barriers to provide efficient and quality care to patients.
During my tenure at the clinics, I have been able to join those working in the public health division during their weekly excursions into the community. We knocked on doors and talked with people in the streets to inform them about the services the clinic provides as well as to check in with those individuals who have missed appointments. This was an amazing experience and a true testament to the commitment of the clinic to the local community.
Overall, I highly recommend volunteering for Project HOPE in the Dominican Republic if you have at least an intermediate Spanish proficiency. It was a great experience in so many ways and I think anyone in the pediatric, internal medicine, or OB/GYN fields would find it both enjoyable and informative!
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