Participants will be merged with Floating Doctors volunteers and leadership to deploy on 2 remote mobile clinics for a full day of field work in rural Ngabe-Bugle indigenous communities in the jungles of western Panama. All participants will serve as medical providers on a live mission, with a translator if required, and under the guidance of experienced RemoteCare and Floating Doctors mission doctors.
Participants will engage in all aspects of the deployment to develop complete context for the specific logistic needs and solutions of a successful, efficient mobile clinic. This will include preparing clinical field gear and the mobile pharmacy, setting up the clinic on arrival, and optionally rotating through different clinic stations: Medical Provider Station, Patient Intake station, Administration station, and Pharmacy station. Rotation through all stations promotes understanding of mobile medical clinic needs and all participants will receive one-on-one support from Floating Doctors medical and logistic leadership during the clinic.
Each day-long clinic will involve travel to a remote community, the first day by small boat through mangrove mazes and open water to remote island communities, and the second day by boat and then overland travel to communities on the mainland in the foothills of Panama’s central Cordillera mountain range.
Approximately 40-100 patients are seen during a typical deployment, with a wide range of conditions including common presentations and tropical & developing world health issues. Ultrasound capability will be included in all deployments and there are almost always multiple pre-natal ultrasounds and a variety of other ultrasounds to be done; participants will take turns being included in these live ultrasounds with personal instruction and supervision by our mission leaders.
If available, a Dental station will also be staffed and physicians will assist Floating Doctors dentists with extractions and other dental care. Veterinary stations may also be present, and providers may assist Floating Doctors veterinarians with animal care and owner education.
House call requests are also common—a community member requesting a home visit for a patient unable to come to the clinic location. When available, participants will be included in these home visits—a delightful return to a much older style of medicine, when most of it happened in a patient’s home, and a unique opportunity to conduct a consult that transcends outward cultural differences.
At the end of the clinical deployments, participants should have a greatly increased understanding of the fundamental context in which most medical aid takes place, and the approach necessary for effective and safe mission performance. After two guided deployments, participating doctors will have greatly increased ability and confidence to effectively assist in planning missions, leading missions in the field, and performing as a provider in rural medical aid work.