Transforming Lives: Reflections from Our Medical Mission Trip to the Philippines

two students in scrubs

We are thrilled to share our experiences and reflections from our recent medical mission trip to the Philippines. Our journey was marked by unforgettable moments of compassion and growth, as we worked alongside dedicated healthcare professionals to provide essential medical services to those in underserved regions.

From the bustling streets of General Santos to the operating rooms of local hospitals, our team immersed ourselves in the rich tapestry of Filipino culture while supporting the delivery of healthcare interventions. Through partnerships with organizations like the Medical Mission of Mercy (MMOM), we had the privilege of offering a wide range of medical and surgical services, including cleft lip and palate repairs, general surgeries, dental care, optometric services, and rehabilitation initiatives.

The impact of our mission extended far beyond the confines of the hospital walls, helping individuals who had minimal access to healthcare resources. For many patients, our mission trip represented their first encounter with medical treatment, underscoring the critical importance of initiatives like MMOM in addressing health disparities and improving access to care.

Throughout our time in the Philippines, we were challenged and inspired in equal measure. We grappled with limited resources and unfamiliar clinical settings and did our best to engage. We approached each day with dedication and determination. As anesthesia students, we played a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of patients undergoing surgical procedures, and navigating challenges with adaptability.

Beyond the clinical experience, our trip was enriched by the bonds forged with fellow volunteers and members of the local community. Together, we shared laughter, tears, and moments of profound connection, united by a common purpose and shared humanity. These relationships, born out of mutual respect and empathy, will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Looking ahead, we are filled with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to serving others. Our experiences in the Philippines have ignited a passion for global health and inspired us to continue advocating for equitable access to healthcare around the world. As we reflect on our journey, we are reminded of the transformative power of compassion, collaboration, and community.

About the authors:

Paige Cassibo is a first year student in the Master of Science in Anesthesia program at Case Western Reserve University in Washington, D.C. Paige completed a bachelor's degree in Neurobiology from University of Wisconsin.

Jenna Derivera is a first year student in the Master of Science in Anesthesia program at Case Western Reserve University in Washington, D.C. Jenna completed a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from University of Tennessee.