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: