Monday, January 4, 2010


My name is Nishina Thomas and I am also one of the eight MS1's heading to Ethiopia in just a few months. I was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, raised in Sugar Land, Texas and graduated from Boston University with a degree in Human Physiology. I am glad to be back in the great state of Texas for medical school here in San Antonio!

First of all, I feel honored and blessed to have this opportunity--the opportunity to serve a community rich in culture yet lacking in healthcare resources, to travel with seven inspiring classmates, and to integrate my expanding medical knowledge with practical use. My interest for participating in this outreach project stems from a unifying factor within our group, that is, the need for healthcare in underprivileged communities. There is no doubt that underprivileged communities exist within our own cities and towns here in the United States, but I believe that witnessing the insufficient care available in a developing country will enable us as first year medical students to get outside of the clinical exposure restricted to our "backyard." I have been to Nicaragua for a similar medical mission trip in the past, but as an undergraduate student trying to figure out if and why I wanted to be a physician (photo above is our first patient Santiaga). Now that I am on my way to becoming one, I feel a greater sense of responsibility to sustain the drive that led me to choose this profession.

As I spend endless hours studying textbooks, attending lectures, and dissecting cadavers I find the need to keep the big picture in mind--serving people with healthcare. I look forward to our Ethiopia trip because we will be doing just that. Ultimately, I hope that this experience will allow me to provide unbiased and compassionate care when I do practice as a physician in the future.

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