NYIT student taking the blood pressure of a patient.


Medical Students Treat Patients in Ghana and the Dominican Republic

August 3, 2018

Pictured: NYITCOM student Justin Scobey takes the blood pressure of a patient in Ghana.

For a group of 16 NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) students, medical school is more than just lessons in the lab and clinical rotations. The future physicians traveled to Ghana and the Dominican Republic to do medical outreach and service learning. What they gained is knowledge and an experience that will stay with them throughout their medical careers.

From June 14 through 30, eight students accompanied by Lillian Niwagaba, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Center for Global Health, traveled to Ghana and worked with Hawa Memorial Saviour Hospital to deliver medical services to underserved populations. This is the eighth year NYITCOM has worked at the site.

Watch the video and read more about the trip below.

Another group of eight NYITCOM students, accompanied by William Blazey, D.O., associate professor and assistant dean of pre-clinical education, visited the Dominican Republic from July 13 to 20 with Foundations for Peace, a volunteer-run organization that builds medical clinics, water purification systems, schools, and churches as well as provides community outreach programs.

Each group worked alongside local physicians and their NYIT preceptor to treat patients, conduct dental screenings, and lead hygiene and health workshops.

Both trips are offered annually by the Center for Global Health and are part of the Certificate in Global Health program. During their stay, the students saw first-hand what they are trained to address in the classroom—preventative health strategies, health systems, policy, infectious disease, and cultural and socioeconomic gaps.

“Ghana was a culture shock for us all. It was an experience that [all but one of us] had never experienced before,” said NYITCOM student Tyler Nghiem. “I think that it is important to mention that everything we did, we were either trained at NYITCOM, or right there in the clinic or hospital by a licensed physician. Our hands-on experiences are truly invaluable and will resonate with each of us until we graduate.”