From our International Director

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GMT in Times of COVID

 

    We salute, admire, love, and respect the medical staff across our beautiful planet that has been leading the fight against the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve seen and heard them informing and guiding us, running down hospital corridors, feverishly working to save people in icu's. We want so dearly to follow their example and are willing to do what the medical situation calls for. In all of our GMT chapters we have you, organizing, meeting, sharing insights and experiences, developing into simple folk who have won knowledge in their brains and fire in their hearts that will meet the coming medical challenges and emergencies, helping with training and care for that person that seeks some kind of medical assistance. GMT chapters are led and energized by the calling that you put yourself on the path of. You are not on the way of becoming...you are in the way, nurturing the content of your medical self with all your heart, soul, and mind. 

    We can now see an end to the crisis, as we know it, with the vaccines. But it is not over quite yet. And it's another experience we are after: never to forget the humanity of the person in front of us. That’s why we seek and go looking for the opportunity to see humanity where it lives. We want to break away from not knowing people no matter if they don't look like us or speak our language. And GMT trippers go to as many communities as possible that are populated by working people who sometimes can't afford the cost of medical assistance. Be prepared for the time when it will be safe to travel again and  to Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Ecuador.

    Dr. Wil Johnson is steadily recovering, getting stronger thanks to the loving care of pat Johnson. Following doctor's orders, his own and the attending physicians. They send you all their love and will relive each of your trips with you, remembering the many GMT visits they led and worked to make it memorable. But it is our members that really change and grow our organization. 

Thank you for being part of the GMT family.

 

Ariadne.

Letter from our International Director

 

In 2008, I was anxiously waiting for my first experience with GMT to begin.

A friend had invited me to participate in the clinics here in Panama. I offered to help take them to an area in the center of our country. We had organized visits to communities where the people have struggle really hard to make a living, but are sturdy and make you instantly fall in love with them. Honest, hardworking folks that try to do their best to keep on and take care of their children. 

At the airport, the loudspeakers announced the arrival of the flight and shortly after my eyes first laid sight, for the first time ever, to the good looking, vibrant, and smiling group from McGill University, Montreal, Canada; and Dr. Wil Johnson, founder of GMT, and his wife Pat Johnson.

  The Johnson’s instantly made me feel like an old friend with their warmth and kindness.

We did our utmost to make them feel at home and protected. Quite a lot of us spoke English fluently and others had a limited knowledge of the language. We were as happy to receive them as they were thrilled to be in our country. Meeting them in person simply energized us all. Of course, we knew that our land and people would give them an unforgettable five days in Panama, and that they were going to be touched in life changing ways. 

Dr. Johnson asked me to be the International Director of Global Medical Training in 2013. When I assumed the coordination, the organization was doing medical trips to the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Panama. Dr. Johnson wanted GMT to broaden its outreach so he asked if I could explore the possibility of establishing operations in more countries. We now do regular trips to the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Peru, and Ecuador. I was in the process of developing Bolivia as a new destination when the Covid-19 pandemic put a temporary halt to everything. 

There are over 50 GMT chapters in the U.S.A. and Canada and I have nothing but praise and affection for the GMT student delegations that come to our countries. Our trippers always step out of the planes with willing and adaptable mindsets. They are responsible, eager, and ennobled by the ancient ideals embraced by physicians in every part of our planet since the inception of medicine -do what you can to protect, preserve, and ensure the future of humanity. Respect all people and fight injustice because, simply put, this is the way we can work and grow in harmony. 

Our trippers always have warm smiles, and work very, very hard to get the most out of their brief visits. 

We are currently working with our chapters to coordinate possible trips.

 

Ariadne.

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