Dr. Lauren Buck wrote the following about her trip to Guatemala:
"The trip was amazing! The mission trip was sponsored by Health Talents International, a non-profit Christian organization that works within the Churches of Christ to promote medical evangelism in developing countries.
This mission trip was for ophthalmology surgery; it was the first time the physicians would be practicing oculoplastics, which crosses into ENT. Dr. Kyle Lewis, an ophthalmologist who had participated in a mission trip to Guatemala as a medical student, was scheduled to go along with my friend Jonathan Carrere, a third year ophthalmology resident. Dr. Andrea Lewis, faculty member of the ENT department, decided to join her husband, and invited me to go on this trip upon learning that it was a something I had always wanted to do.
We flew into Guatemala City, then had a three-hour bus ride to Clinica Ezell located in the city of Montellano. The clinic is comprised of several clinic rooms, three operating rooms and a 50-bed open ward. Each day was a mixture of clinic patients and operative cases. Approximately 120 surgeries were performed from Sunday to Thursday. We also did mobile clinics where we would travel to nearby villages and see patients with ENT problems. Dr. Andrea Lewis and I saw an average of 15-25 patients while the general physicians would see in the 40s! We saw a wide range of ENT issues, mostly allergic disease and ear problems such as otitis externa. The patients were so appreciative, even for simple things like cleaning wax out of their ears!
The grounds where the clinic is located are gated, and include multiple rooms and a mess hall where meals were served. It reminded me of girl-scout camp; no central air, camp fire smell, lots of bug spray and good food!
The team on the trip included two ophthalmologists who performed mostly cataract and pterygium surgeries, two optometrists who saw an unbelievable amount of patients, an anesthesiologist, several nurses, OR scrub techs, translators, and caregivers. In total, there were approximately 30 people. Many in the group had been on multiple trips and there were several families traveling together. We had meals together and a devotional each night.
But it wasn't all work! We went to a cacao farm one afternoon and we went to Antigua on Friday for a tourist day. Overall it was a wonderful experience and I hope to go again in the future!"