Saturday, March 14, 2009

RAM (Remote Area Medical)
I rekindled my love for medicine this morning beginning at 4:00AM.
Today, I spent the morning working triage in Pigeon Forge, TN for an organization called RAM, containing members who call themselves "pioneers of no-cost health care". RAM Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.

With volunteers holding hearts worth more than gold, I learned a simple, but yet so valuable rule to medicine today from a volunteer dentist who keeps RAM close to his heart: "It is not about YOU. It is not about the money. It is all about THE PATIENT. You do anything and everything you are capable of doing just for them." After completing the two fillings he was working on while teaching me this lesson on life and telling other heroic stories in between, he gave the mid-20's man a mirror to check out his new front teeth. The man replied, "This is awesome! You are so great! Thank you so much!" with the utmost enthusiasm. They shook hands and Dr. Jim Jenkins looked over at me, tears in his eyes, and simply said, "That, my darling, is why I am here."

The Early Riser Shift
(L to R: Sarah, Annie, Torrey, Kendra, Amanda, Kellie, me)
As a part of triage, we were there to take blood pressures, respiratory rates, and heart rates, in addition to getting their list of medications, past illnesses, vaccinations, and medical histories.

I do believe RAM is now in my blood. I can hardly wait for the next clinic.

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