Staff Blog

Professor Eugenio (Gene) Lee

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The below quote was written by Professor Eugenio (Gene) Lee. This is a true reflection of his attitudes, as well as, that of the people we serve. He is our Panamanian advisor and instructor of our GMT interpreters provided for you. You will meet him on the trip and in the clinics. He has a lot to give to you and to share with you re Pana culture, history, government, economics, humanity and more. He is warm, accessible and personable…get to know him. He represents the ideal that we strive for in all GMT countries. He sent this to me Dec. 7, 2009.

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GMT as Ambassadors to the World

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I know that you are a very special group of young people. You are self-selected to do this type of international service trip with GMT.  I will assume that you are amongst the 10%ers of our society. I will, also, assume that you are gifted (each in your own way); open-minded / curious; educated; insightful; service oriented; healer-type; probably empathetic; and highly motivated with ideals, principles, and lofty goals. Don’t laugh, I’m serious. I do expect you to live up to these expectations on this trip…And I am certain that you will.

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Wisdoms and Thoughts

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A person's ''GOOD CHARACTER'' denotes a combination of acquired knowledge, wisdom and resultant behavior; a grasp of rational reality; humility, fortitude and courage...wrapped within an inquisitive and distinctive personality.

By contrast ''a character''is merely a person with an instinct for eccentric self-drama that can be amusing, disturbing or disrupting... depending on the circumstances. --wj

GMT is a Humanist Organization. GMT values good character. GMT believes in integrity, honesty, respect for oneself, respect for others, decency, dignity, responsibility, fairness, caring and service to others. GMT believes in providing an "Education for Life" to the whole person and for all people. Education erases ignorance and, therefore, diminishes myth, mistreatment and a myopic life...and eventually will diminish injustice, poverty and poor health. We will be both giving and receiving education on GMT trips in pursuing our quest for better health.--wj

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Trip Security and Personal Safety

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The safety and well-being of students on all GMT trips is of supreme importance to us. So much depends upon this as a baseline for everything else that we do on all trips.

We [[including my wife, Pat, &/or our professional guides, assistants, doctors, interpreters] will be there with you and the group the entire time. We will have 1or 2 cell phones. Others will, too. The people we work and often travel with are all from that country and often live in the communities we serve. They, above all, want all of us to be safe. They appreciate our being there & want us to have a good safe trip / clinics, so we will keep coming back. We know them well and they are very protective of us. The other Doctors, guides, interpreters, & assistants are hired from there, so they usually travel, and stay with us.

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GMT Learner-Centered Teaching

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The GMT clinic model provides a real, hands-on, supervised Medical experience.

This is a dynamic, interactive way of learning. Combined with intentional reflection on the experience, insights can be gained that can be transformed into action and further exploration. In our setting, this should fan the sparks of humanism that attract students into the medical profession in the first place.

Place this within the larger framework of the concrete trip experiences and a transformation into remarkable personal knowledge takes place. The pieces of this patchwork quilt will come together, they connect coherently, and we then see the larger patterns. This provides enlightened answers from which we can analytically extract the next better questions…on and on. Soon we must convert this into action to benefit others.

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My favorite non-clinic memory from the trip was getting to know the doctors after clinic sessions. I felt that I learned a lot from them because they were the ones who guided our medical training at all times in the clinic. This is important because they earned my respect in this manner. I also learned that the doctors from Panama are extremely different from the doctors here in the United States. I can say that the doctors from Panama have more wisdom than the doctors over here due to the social level of patients that they deal with in their everyday lives. More so, apart from clinically diagnosing them, Panamanian doctors have a higher probability of diagnosing patient's with psycho-social problems apart from health related issues. Whereas, this is not so common here in North America.- Angela, Junior, Hunter College