Monday, November 14, 2011


‘Physicians for Humanity’ cultivates medical students by reaching out to the poor.
PCOM Medical Students Gary Zane, Catherine Babbitt-Cook, Kelsey Thrush and Kimberly Marakovits return from Ecuador with a fresh look into what it means to serve others and are paving the way for future volunteers. 
Philadelphia, PA November 2011:  Physicians for Humanity (PFH), a non-profit organization based in Pennsylvania, has sent another group of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) first year medical students to Ecuador this past summer.  PFH’s mission is based on living and working with the poor in order to more fully understand their suffering.  It is their belief that volunteers must immerse themselves completely in another culture to truly grasp their plight. 
This approach has been opening the eyes, hearts and minds of PFH volunteers for eight years. 

Prior to 2011, PFH volunteers have spent only a small portion of their time in Ecuador travelling to and from areas of poverty throughout their stay.  This past year, a group of volunteers spent their entire month living with host families in some of the poorest areas in Ecuador.  As a result of this increased involvement, these volunteers’ lives were changed forever and their personal growth is already translating into a life-long journey of service.  Gary Zane of Deptford, NJ graduate of Rutgers University, Catherine Babbitt-Cook of Portland, OR graduate of Ursinus College, Kelsey Thrush of Chambersburg, PA graduate of Juniata College and Kimberly Marakovits of Rocky Hill, CT graduate of Boston College returned from their eye-opening experience in Duran, Ecuador in August.  As second year PCOM medical students, they are leading the way in advocating for our mission and inspiring the next generation of volunteers.  They have begun sharing their lessons of service by leading groups of medical students in engaging with a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.  Current projects:  Our clinic ‘Derechos de los Pobres’ in Duran, Ecuador and the Shelia Dennis House in Philadelphia, PA.  For more information about our mission visit our website at:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Reflection by Gary Zane - MS2

"Beese, Sully, Mike, Soap, and James.  This was my crew growing up.  To this day when I think of my boys, my true boys, this is them.  My younger brothers, Anthony and Michael, that's my heart and soul.  My cousins, Chris and Kevin, are my brothers from another, whose mother has a mother who happens to be the mother of mine.  And little Rose also, the flower.  The people in my life are what gives it meaning.  Like guitar strings that write their own music, each bond that's composed is its own song, and the music created vibrates into eternity.  And all the songs together play through my blood and my bones so that I am forever the singer and the listener to the music that is my being."

As I sat down to write my first reflection before we embarked on the trip to Duran, I came across this poem that I wrote last summer that I called "Yo soy.". It was refreshing. It's easy to get caught up in the daily routine of medical school and relationships, and this reminded me of who I am and why I decided to join Physicians for Humanity in the first place.

A reflection by Gary Zane

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Welcome to PFH's Blog!

PFH is excited for the all the new opportunities and growth this year.  A new website, blog, and PFH products are just some of the new and exciting things to come. 

All PFH volunteers and supporters are welcome to reflect, update or communicate on this blog.  We will be utilizing the blog for the 2012 MS1's to post their weekly reflections while they are in Ecuador, as well as pre- and post Ecuador.  Now everyone will get to hear about each volunteer's experiences, thoughts and growth. 

We look forward to hearing from everyone!