July 21, 2010 — A world away from their typical work day, the president and provost of Northwestern Health Sciences University rolled up their sleeves at La Clinica de la Mariposa in Costa Rica. Mark Zeigler, DC, president, and Michael Wiles, DC, MEd, provost and vice president of academic affairs, visited La Clinica at the end of May 2010.
For the past 10 years, Northwestern has been part of a student intern program with La Clinica in which Northwestern students spend three weeks traveling to selected communities in Costa Rica, providing free chiropractic care and other healthcare. The program has a patient population of more than 4,000 people in more than 10 communities.
While Zeigler and Wiles were in Costa Rica, they were able to engage with and supervise the student interns and also met with several supporters of the clinic. “Dr. Zeigler and I finally had the opportunity to experience the clinic first-hand and we were thoroughly impressed with our students and the organization of the clinic,” said Wiles.
“I try to personally visit every one of our clinics that we have an affiliation with,” said Zeigler. “I want to see how students are learning and what experiences they are receiving.”
La Clinica is an integrated clinic that has chiropractic, physical therapy, nutrition and medical students working alongside one another. Seven chiropractic students from Northwestern were on the most recent trip that took place from May 21–June 11. The students that participated were: Chris Hanson; Matthew Hoffman; Jaclyn Maher; Lindsay Nesmoe; Lindsey Jo Pape; Nicholas Raboin; and Ann Strong-Schmitz.
“This experience validated the great value of this program,” said Dr. Wiles. “It gave me the opportunity to see students in action. They were ambassadors of the University – serving not only Northwestern, but also the people of Costa Rica.”
“I would definitely encourage others to experience this opportunity,” said Dr. Zeigler. “It gives you a different perspective on other cultures and a new appreciation of what our profession can offer in treatment and care.”
Students must be in their ninth or tenth trimester to be eligible for a La Clinica de la Mariposa trip. The next trip will be from Oct. 1-22. For more information, contact Jim Hulbert, PhD, associate professor and La Clinica advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Northwestern Health Sciences University, www.nwhealth.edu/nwtoday/index.html