Perhaps the most unique feature of La Merced is its student program. Through the student program, high school, college. pharmacy and nursing students enjoy the opportunity to work intimately with the doctors and the administrative staff on the mission. High school and college students process patients and first-assist the doctors in the clinics. Qualified college, pharmacy and nursing students are given the opportunity “scrub in” on surgeries in the hospitals.
The student program can be inspiring and rewarding. The medial mission has compelled some students to turn their aspirations toward a career in the medical field. The La Merced doctors and professionals of other disciplines are willing and eager to not only train students who attend the trip but also advise them throughout their journey in the medical professions. Thus far, among La Merced students, seven have entered medical school and one a physician assistant program, others have continued their education and training in nursing and pharmacy.
Here is a word from Steve Woodward, one of our first student team members, now attending his residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.