Name: Ezra Margolin
Institution: Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons
My experience working with Blue-Med was exciting, eye-opening, and inspiring. It was exciting to travel half way around the world to a continent I had never been before. It was eye-opening to see a culture completely different from my own -- in language, race, religion, diet, and art. I climbed mountains, hiked to waterfalls, bought West African clothes, ate banku, and fed bananas to monkeys. I saw rural communities that were undeveloped and impoverished, with little access to food and no access to medical care. It was inspiring to see the positive impact that Blue-Med had on these people's lives.
The children at the nearby orphanage, the adults at the leprosy village, and the families at the different communities we visited all were better off because of the Blue-Med team. Blue-Med gave me the chance to do something significant for people who needed help, and it inspired me to continue working towards becoming a physician.
Blue-Med helped me learn to work as a team to provide effective and efficient medical care to the patients -- often an entire village at one time. I learned to interact with patients across a cultural and language barrier. I had never before had such a hands-on role in patient care as I did there, and I had never had such a rewarding volunteer experience.
It was also fun to travel the country and experience Ghanaian culture. Ghana is a beautiful and welcoming place, with so much to see and do. Richard and the whole Blue-Med team were great, and they helped make Ghana my home for the time I was there. I am very grateful that they shared their culture with me.