After being sponsored by Trinity School of Medicine to participate on the medical services team for the Carter Work Project with Habitat for Humanity International in Haiti, Senior Medicine Students Crystal Shaw and Sarah Theart discuss their experience and how it reinforced why they are pursuing their Doctor of Medicine degrees—to provide health care to the under-served, a common thread amongst many Trinity MD students.
Crystal Shaw, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Sarah Theart
Sarah: Arriving in Haiti for the week of service with Habitat of Humanity was a dream come true. Being Haitian American, I longed to go back to the country of my birth to help in anyway possible. It was hard work in modest accommodations but I received so much more than I gave. I was able to be resourceful yet patient, compassionate, and understanding. I found it humbling to receive such gratitude from the families and volunteers by providing access to health care with very limited supplies. This experience only reinforced my commitment and dedication to providing access to health care to the under-served not only here in the United States but abroad. I'm so grateful again to Trinity for the opportunity to represent our school in Haiti.
Crystal: It was a blessing and honor to spend a week serving with Habitat for Humanity in Haiti. We were part of the emergency medical team, working long hours in the heat, providing first aid, medical management and trauma care for more than 600 volunteers and local homeowners. The inspirational volunteers worked hand-in-hand with President Jimmy Carter to build houses for over 100 families whose lives were devastated following the earthquake. I am grateful to Trinity School of Medicine for the fun adventure and useful training, but much more so for reminding me of my true motivation in the pursuit of medicine, to help the under-served.
Doctor and Medical Team Supervisor: Both Sarah and Crystal were welcome additions to our medical team. Even though there were no traumatic events, I feel both students benefitted and learned from the experience. The hours were long, weather hot and humid and the living conditions were spartan, however they did all that was asked of them enthusiastically without complaint. By the end of the week they were well established as members of the "medical team" and if schedule permits, I look forward to them joining us each year.
Read more about the Habitat for Humanity Int'l Carter Work Project in Haiti