Episode 077: Miles of Smiles

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Guatemalan balloon animals are just as therapeutic as US ones. Photo by David Janssen. Used with permission.

Fourth-year students David Janssen and Lindsey Knake recently arrived home to Iowa from Guatemala, where, along with anesthesiologist David Swanson, they participated in the Miles of Smiles Team (MOST) cleft palate repair medical mission.  Team leader and former UI otolaryngologist Dr. John Canady joined us to discuss what it’s like to do a ‘short term’ medical mission each year for more than 10 years in a country where the needs are great and the resources aren’t.


How are medical missions different for medical students from, say, a clerkship?  What’s Guatemala like to live in, both as a citizen and as a visitor?  Who can medical missionaries help, and how do they decide?  What are the ethical considerations that are navigated in short-term medical missions?  Are medical missionaries welcomed with open arms?  Why is going on such a mission a better idea than waiting around to hear your match results? You’ll find out on this week’s episode!

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

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