Around the world, church members use medical missions to show Christ’s love by treating the physical needs of people in Third World countries. Now a college of medicine in Virginia has recognized another value of medical missions — training future generations of doctors. The Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine recently partnered with the church-supported James Moody Adams clinic in Honduras to provide physician training. Fourth-year students at the Blacksburg, Va., school have the option to travel to the Tegucigalpa facility for a one-month rotation.
“We just had our first group of three students, and we were all very happy with the experience,” said Steve White, president of Baxter Institute of Biblical and Cultural Studies, a ministry training facility adjacent to the clinic.
Since 1984 the clinic has offered medical care to Baxter staff, students and the poor of Honduras. The clinic and ministry school are under the umbrella ministry Association Amicus, sponsored by the Westover Hills church in Austin, Texas.
The partnership developed through Dr. Dean Sutphin, the Virginia school’s vice president for international relations and a member of the Blacksburg church. Part of the school’s mission is to train physicians to serve rural and medically underserved communities in Virginia and the Appalachian region, said dean and vice president Dixie Tooke-Rawlins.
“Our program stems off the desire to create ongoing medical care in regions such as Tegucigalpa,” said Dr. Joseph Cacioppo, the school’s medical missions director. School officials hope the hands-on experience will help them produce physicians “who are capable of serving in the areas of the world with the greatest needs.”
Dec. 1, 2006