Life Has a New Perspective

I arrived in Haiti on my rookie trip as a medical provider with Friends of the Children of Haiti. As an Anesthesiologist in Bloomington, IL., I was concerned that I would struggle with this new type of medical practice. These concerns evaporated quickly on the first clinic day. Within the first several hours of the first clinic, I had seen several things I had only seen in textbooks back in medical training. The people I work with are so helpful, and all of my questions (and there are many), are answered. My early unease has been replaced with true enjoyment of the work we do.

Unfortunately, the people here are so poor and the need for quality health care is so great. The luxury of health care providers and medical tests on demand does not exist.  We do what we can, with our limited resources, but we just scratch the surface of need.

The truly amazing aspect to this story, though, is the Haitian people. They should be an inspiration to us all. They travel long distances to reach our clinic, wait in lines for hours and sometimes spend the night outside hoping to get into the next day’s clinic.
This is done with an unbelievable amount of patience. The lines are quiet and orderly. All the patients greet you with a smile, and usually say thank you more than once as they leave to go wait in line again for their medications.

This trip has been a great blessing to me. Life has a new perspective.

Tom Bernhardt