LUCOM partners with Samaritan’s Purse, new fourth-year international rotations announced

Asa Keimig, LUCOM Marketing | Dec 19, 2017

LUCOM student-doctor Joshua Reynolds, 2018, pictured with an elderly woman at Hope of Life International in Guatemala.Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) has reached a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse.

Beginning January 2018, LUCOM student-doctors will have the opportunity to select a four-week international elective rotation serving in a country already listed as an operating site for Samaritan’s Purse. They will be exposed to unique clinical experiences and immersed into a missionary team focused on providing health and spiritual care for patients. The partnership is a result of a vision by LUCOM’s Clinical Affairs and Medical Outreach teams.

“Samaritan’s Purse is an internationally recognized name already ministering the Gospel through disaster relief and humanitarian aid,” said James Cook, director of Medical Outreach and International Medicine. “We are excited that they agreed to mentor our student-doctors to grow in their faith and proclaim Christ while also serving in medicine.”

LUCOM-Medical Outreach has dedicated itself to providing medical care in underserved communities with little to no access to medical care both locally and internationally.

Student-Doctors will examine a multitude of patients with diverse needs, while also experiencing the culture and camaraderie of both the nationals and missionaries. “Medical missionaries will mentor student-doctors on how to provide a loving and healing hand of Christ in austere climates with little or no resources available, all while guiding them in prayer, medical discipline, and faith,” added Cook.

LUCOM student-doctor Joshua Reynolds, 2018, pictured with children from Zacapa, Guatemala.Joshua Reynolds, fourth-year student-doctor, has been assigned to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. “I expect to have an incredible month serving the people of Kenya alongside Samaritan’s Purse,” he said. “I also expect to be strengthened in my relationship with the Lord as I experience a culture and healthcare that is somewhat foreign to me.” Reynolds plans on being a part of the obstetrics team and hopes to be involved in numerous childbirths, in addition to various other surgical opportunities. “I hope that I will be of value to the team, contributing my knowledge and abilities while also learning exponentially.”

Reynolds, who aspires to become an OBGYN physician, has always been drawn to helping others and has come to realize that God has given him a personality that is energized when serving those in need. He desires to have both the knowledge and surgical skill necessary to excel as a physician, while maintaining a humble, patient approach through kindness and compassion towards his fellow man. “I believe there is no other career fitted for my personality than one in medicine, where I can continually be in a position to help – ministering to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs,” said Reynolds.

LUCOM student-doctor Joshua Reynolds, 2018, pictured with a child from Zacapa, Guatemala.Reynolds and his wife, Emily, traveled to Zacapa, Guatemala, summer 2015, on the first international medical outreach trip. They also went on the second trip, spring 2016.

LUCOM student-doctors participating in the electives will have the opportunity and ability to provide medical and spiritual care during a patient’s most vulnerable times, often when the Gospel is most meaningful. “As physicians, patients place their trust in us, almost from the start of our relationship with them,” said Kathleen P. Bogacz, MD, FACP, assistant professor of Internal Medicine. “What a great way to continue exposing our student doctors to giving deeper levels of gospel-associated compassionate and competent care.”

In 2018, LUCOM student-doctors will have the opportunity to travel to the following countries for an international elective rotation:

  • Bolivia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Kenya
  • Panamá
  • Peru
  • Rwanda
  • Togo
  • Zambia

“LUCOM is dedicated to producing primary care physicians with a heart to serve the underserved in Virginia, the United States, and throughout the world,” said David. F Klink, DO, senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs. “The international rotations will allow students to experience caring for patients in cultures and settings that are radically different from what they see on their rotations in the United States and will help to nurture a servant’s heart in our students and advance the mission of LUCOM. The Office of Medical Outreach and International Missions has done a superb job.”