Dr. Interns

Dr. Interns

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Last Update: March 13, 2013

Dr. Interns, a premier non-profit organization, was established in 2010 with the mission to improve the quality of life in developing areas by increasing health care accessibility and awareness. We furthermore seek to educate future medical leaders on the preventable disparities crippling many underserved regions of the world. Our organization fulfills this need through providing medical internships abroad for pre-medical students from top universities across the United States as well as by allotting a percentage of internship fees toward our mobile medical clinic initiatives. In doing so, future medical leaders work among healthcare professionals to study medicine, public health, and international development, but most importantly they internalize this need through first-hand experience and engagement with these developing communities. This learning experience allows our future medical leaders to become a part of the change and directly improve the quality of life for the underserved.

Type: citizen sector

The Problem

In many developing regions of the world, villages are relatively inaccessible with little or no road and rail infrastructure. The nearest medical center is often several hours away by foot, and those who require treatment lack the means and mode to seek proper medical care. Because of this major gap between the needs and the resources of developing regions, cancer and maternal mortality rates continue to rise. India in particular has one of the highest cancer rates in the world. The 2011 Socio-Economic Review of Gujarat ranked the state as the seventh most populated, accounting for nearly 19,000 rural villages with only one hospital for every 1 million people. In addition, the 2011 World Health Organization reported that of the 535,000 cancer fatalities in the state, breast, cervical and tobacco-related cancers together account for approximately 64 percent of these mortalities. Incidentally, all three types of cancers are curable if detected early. Furthermore, progress in reducing maternal mortality in Gujarat has been stagnant and largely undocumented. A 2010 case study identified several challenges for reducing the maternal mortality ratio. They include a lack of maternal education, medicinal infrastructure, and a shortage of available of blood and equipment. The Gujarat government asserts that interventions to circumvent these challenges can only take place if there is a substantial increase in political will and social awareness.

The Solution

Dr. Interns seeks to implement networked mobile medical clinics to provide self-sustaining, basic health care for those who would normally go without. By bringing the doctors to the patients, improvement in the quality of life in developing regions is possible. With outside funding, Dr. Interns hopes to establish 10 mobile medical clinics over the next 10 years in the State of Gujarat, India. Each mobile clinic will be equipped with a highly functional doctor’s office, complete with an array of diagnostic aids and a power generator. The mobile clinics will be customized according to the needs of the region. Medical camps with tents will be set up to house the people who want to see a doctor. In addition to this, the mobile health workers will also educate the inhabitants on prevention of maternal and infant mortality, late detection, tobacco-related diseases, and diseases that result from poor nutrition and lack of sanitation. The fleet mobile clinics will be networked through a central headquarters to coordinate all camps, to keep record of the types of patients treated, medications used and needed, and to continually evaluate the needs of each community and realign resources as needed. Our 2011 premier program in Goraj, Gujarat, treated upwards of 500 individuals per operation. With the success of this model, Dr. Interns hopes to expand the mobile clinic initiates to all regions similar to Gujarat.

Example

Dr. Interns designed the India Mobile Clinic Initiative to prevent unnecessary mortalities and to moreover meet the United Nations’ millennium goals for improving conditions in developing countries. This initiative utilizes mobile clinics to visit rural villages to perform primary screening exams, and lecture in maternal and tobacco awareness education- a model proven successful in the State of Uttarakhand, India, which treated over 60,000 patients in the past six years. In 2011, Dr. Interns began implementing this model with a biannual medical camp in Ratanpura, an impoverished village in Gujarat, India, where most families survive on less than a dollar per day, and where diagnostic treatments and medications are otherwise unavailable. The camp served 200 individuals sixty years of age or older, yet, 100% of the participants reported it as being his/her first screening and first time learning of tobacco’s carcinogenic potential. The second camp successfully hosted more than 500 patients and has since expanded to treat neighboring villages with the addition of blood banks, eye exams, and infant examinations. Once able to expand the India Mobile Clinic Initiatives, Dr. Interns anticipates these initial findings to translate into improved health statistics in Gujarat. Seeking to provide medical care to all areas similar to Gujarat, Dr. Interns is currently partnering with various organizations in Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Venezuela to provide local communities with the necessary and appropriate treatment facilities.

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Need

The 2011 Socio-Economic Review of Gujarat State ranked Gujarat as the 7th most populated state of India with having nearly 19,000 rural villages with little or no road or rail infrastructure, and with one hospital for every one million people. With the majority of the population cut off from...

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Growth Tracker

Stage: Milestone 1 of 3
Start
08/02/12
End
Milestone
Expand India Mobile Clinics Initiatives
Date of Completion 06/01/13
In Progress
Purchase 4 additional coaches
In Progress
Fill coaches will all necessary diagnostic materials (i.e. mammogram machine)
In Progress
Hire all medical personnel needed to operate the mobile camps.
In Progress
Coordinate the mobile camps to begin operation Summer 2013
In Progress
Continually access the success/impact of these mobile clinics.
Milestone
Build Intern House in Gujarat India for the Medical Interns
Date of Completion 10/01/13
In Progress
Attain funding to purchase land/begin construction
In Progress
Build a headquarters to house interns and act as a home-base for the mobile clinics when not operating.
In Progress
Find/coordinate with others who will benefit from using house/land when interns are not in India.
Milestone
Continue to Grow Mobile Clinics Outreach Plan
Target Completion Date 12/01/15
In Progress
Attain an additional 2-4 mobile clinics (based on 2012-2014 success)
In Progress
Hire additional staff.
In Progress
Begin operating 6-8 mobile clinics within the rural villages of Gujarat full time.
In Progress
Begin to see improved health statistics among those residing in the villages we reach and assist.
In Progress
Have all mobile clinics operating 5 days on, 2 days off.
Milestone 1
Expand India Mobile Clinics Initiatives
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Comments & Activity

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Comments & Activity

Comments

Linda Curran profile img
Thu, 08/02/2012 - 15:11

Hello All! We at Dr. Interns are looking to partner with and receive funding from organizations that share our vision of providing basic health care for the undeserved in developing regions of the world. Any fellow citizen sectors or possible funders interested in hearing more?

Linda Curran profile img
Wed, 03/20/2013 - 20:54

Hello fellow changemakers! We at Dr. Interns are proud to announce that we have officially accepted 17 Interns thus far for our 2013 India summer internship program this coming July! We are definitely looking forward to the great things these interns are going to do and accomplish while in India. Only a few short months away until the next round of Dr. Interns are scrubbing in on surgeries, traveling on our mobile clinics, immersing themselves in Indian culture, and most importantly, helping save lives. But these interns need your help! If would like to support an intern - large or small -please go to http://www.drinterns.org/current-interns and click on an intern to learn more about their goals and what they hope to get out of the internship. Help us in supporting our group of 2013 interns!