Global Brigades at the University of Texas San Antonio
Medical Brigades at UT San Antonio is a chapter of Global Brigades, the world's largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. The San Antonio chapter systematically works with more than 300 other university groups around the world to deliver and implement one of nine skill-based programs that benefit more than 130,000 Honduran and Panamanian community members annually.
Global Medical Brigades develops sustainable health initiatives and provides relief where there is limited access to healthcare. Each community receives a brigade every 3 to 4 months where hundreds of patients are treated and volunteers deliver public health workshops. Electronic patient records are collected for future visitations and to monitor overall community health trends.
Volunteers on Medical and Dental Brigades work closely together with licensed medical and dental professionals to provide quality health initiatives to a community that otherwise has limited access to health care. Volunteers spend three days in a community in order to optimize the amount of time patients are able to spend with the physicians and dentists. Each patient receives a physician consultation, public health talk, and prescribed medicines as well as have access to PAP smears, prostate exams and restorative dental care as necessary. Children, in addition, receive teeth cleaning, a fluoride treatment, and vitamins necessary for proper growth and development. Volunteers have the opportunity to take patient vitals, obtain patient history and current symptoms, shadow and assist licensed physicians and dentists, participate in preventative education, and fill prescriptions under a licensed pharmacist. Volunteers will become familiar with the prevalent health issues in their community and learn about how to prevent and treat those illnesses. These brigades provide each volunteer with the opportunity to make a tangible impact on a specific community while gaining real life experience in the field of international medicine and dentistry.