Dominican Republic Study Abroad Story: Abigail Rossman

Recent Honors graduate, Abigail Rossman, utilized the Honors Funded Travel Scholarship to attend the Village Mountain Mission Project in the Dominican Republic. Below is a reflection of Abbie’s experience as well as some of her favorite photo from the trip. Thank you for sharing!

“Roughly a week ago, I stepped onto an international flight for my second trip out of the country. Despite being sick from malaria medications, I left a comfortable middle-class life to provide medical care in rural towns where little to no assistance was available. An air conditioned home, comfortable bed, and delicious home-cooked meals were traded for a hammock in a hot and humid environment, mysterious cuisine, and a new language. I felt as if I had entered into another universe where I was forced entirely outside of my comfort zone. However, my anxiety and discomfort faded away when I met the loving and respectful citizens of the Dominican Republic.

Treating people in rural areas of the Dominican Republic involved a combination of patient education, practicing medical decision making, and establishing quality relationships with unique individuals. I loved the form of rural, community-based medicine we practiced there. It allowed for strong ties between patient and provider, and it sparked my interest in practicing rural medicine. The strong patient and provider relationship confirmed my ideals for social responsibility and the execution of best medical practices. Upon returning, I shadowed a rural physician, and I realized there are many similarities between practicing in rural Michigan and practicing in the Dominican Republic. It is my plan to practice rural medicine after graduate medical school. These experiences solidified my resolve to work in this community-based field as a medical provider, while being innovative, empathetic, and a life-long learner.”

Abigail Rossman treats a patient with a diabetic foot ulcer in the Dominican Republic. Courtesy of Honors student, Abigail Rossman.

Abigail Rossman treats a patient with a diabetic foot ulcer in the Dominican Republic. Courtesy of Honors student, Abigail Rossman.



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