BENEFITING: FLOATING DOCTORS INC
EVENT DATE: Jun 20, 2014
My name is Marc, I'm a first year medical student and I wish I could heal the world.
But let's be honest, that's a little unrealistic. But let's cruch the numbers and focus for a second on this place called Bocas del Toro, Panama. Read the following exerpt from my "MD with Distinction" program application and keep these three numbers in mind. --> A few hundred, 3, and 50.
The health care status of the Bocas del Toro province is one of geographic, social, and political isolation. In the beautiful Panama City in Central America, residents enjoy the benefits of universal healthcare coverage. In fact, the Panamanian constitution guarantees each of its citizens the right to free health care. However, travel just a few hundred kilometers west in the same country, and you’ll find residents of the Bocas del Toro province who have extremely limited access to any form of health care . Residents of this area are mostly Ngobe and Bulge indigenous people who are not only geographically isolated by islands and dense jungles, but also culturally and politically isolated, often being seen as a burden by the government . As one of the most extreme examples of health care inequality seen around the world, the Bocas district has no hospitals and experiences 3 times the infant and maternal mortality rate as compared to the capital province, conditions that are deemed highly preventable by international public health experts . In fact, Bocas del Toro is home to the most vulnerable population in all of Panama, where an indigenous individual has over a 50% higher mortality rate than the national average .
So I've been accepted into an "MD with distinction" program at my school and I've gathered a band of 3 docs and 6 other medical volunteers to travel down to Panama and help Floating Doctors.
My mission: to volunteer with the Floating Doctors medical charity and help deliver free medical care to the Bocas del Toro area, while researching and writing critcal and novel literature about the heart-breaking healthcare disparity there and the ethical and political principals that have perpetuated it. I hope to conduct interviews and write about my medical experiences there in an effort to bring some needed attention to this area and this fantastic organization, Floating Doctors.
I've said it before, I want to heal the world. While its certainly not the case, no one in the world should ever have to die from a treatable disease. I truly believe that I can make a difference in my future career by learning and becomming an expert in the moral and political implications of health care policy. I come from an underserved area, and know too many uninsured loved ones who deserve better.
...So please, help me be able to afford this amazing opportunity, so I can make this goal happen! The trip, with airfare, housing, travel health insurance, and food will cost me about $2500 for 2 months in the Summer. Any amount is appreciated, and stay tuned for pictures/updates once the project gets up on its feet!
Thanks so much!
-Marc Aaron Delaney
MD to BE.