As a physician, I feel a personal responsibility to do good – to help and to heal in any way I possibly can. I have the capability to help others in a way that most other people cannot. It’s the reason I went into medicine and why I wake up every day feeling lucky to be able to do something that I’m so in love with.
Working with a team of Jordanian medical students as translators, we are a team of 15 providers – family medicine, emergency medicine, and internal medicine physicians, a urologist and a gastroenterologist, a general surgeon, an ophthalmologist, a couple dentists and an orthodontist, and two brave nursing students. It is a team of seasoned providers and fresh physicians, all eager to help and all happy to be here. I’m proud to be a part of Flying Doctors of America.
Leaving Amman, most of our work is about a 60km drive away, near he Syrian border in Mafraq. The largest refugee camp, Zaatari is located just outside Mafraq and houses more than 100,000 refugees. Inside the camp, basic amenities are limited and people live without food, water, and other basics. Refugees have now flooded outside the camps and there are many living in this “border zone” outside of the camps. Because of the health care infrastructure in Jordan, many of the Syrian refugees are unable to seek medical care, even in emergency or life-or-death situations. Our main goal with the Flying Doctors is to provide relief care to this population that otherwise has virtually no access to care.
In patient populations such as this, respiratory illness is prevalent, as well as anything that is transmitted fecal-orally due to the living conditions. Our preparation has included extensive review of common conditions and allocation of medications to our pharmacy appropriately. Regardless, we will still be unprepared. It's impossible to be prepared for healthcare in a situation such as this. Nevertheless, we are all happy to be here and ready to work, whatever the next couple weeks will bring.