LMU-DCOM Looks Back on Medical Mission Trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Trip

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) students and faculty members went on a medical mission trip in December 2023 to Costa Rica.  

LMU-DCOM students Kurtis Orrson, Lauren Colby, Shannon Ripley, Sydney Bostic, Cherady Fine, Zack Frazier and Magdalena Falasca, along with faculty members Dr. Marybeth Babos, professor of pharmacology and chair of pharmacology and Dr. LaRoy Brandt, professor of biology-conservation biology, attended the medical mission trip.  

The trip was conducted through the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy which operates the LaSuerte Biological Research Station in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica, north of Guapiles. Brandt has been conducting research at LaSuerte since 2006. In previous years, he organized a veterinary mission trip to the area.  

Students and faculty worked with Costa Rican physician Dr. Diego Rojas and dentist Dr. Dayan Valle along with other research station staff members. LMU-DCOM students spent a few days conducting patient assessments where they worked with local doctors to prepare individualized medical care plans for patients.  

“I am extremely proud of the DCOM students who participated in this medical mission,” said Brandt. “As with many rural communities around the world, people often face many challenges when it comes to health care, and I was pleased to observe our medical students embracing this opportunity. I am looking forward to helping these efforts continue.” 

The clinic provided medical care for more than 50 patients, including children. Students also visited a nursing home where they assisted Dr. Rojas in his rounds.  

“Being able to provide quality care and educate patients, many of whom had never seen a doctor before, was extremely rewarding, said LMU-DCOM Class of 2026 student Kurtis Orrson. “Educationally, we connected dots from our learning in the classroom, served as mentors to each other and our patients and partly learned another language. Offering hands-on, humble care to patients who were so grateful gave us a glimpse of the future physicians we should all strive to be. A hug from nearly every patient, or shall I say friend, warmed my heart and reminded me of how fortunate I am and how important it is to give back to those who need it much more." 

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee and at LMU-Knoxville in Knoxville, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often-underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@LMUnet.edu, or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.   

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