Five University of Dallas students traveled to Haiti this summer to bring medical aid to some of that nation's most underprivileged citizens. P.J. Anderson '14, Christina Davis '15, Aileen Johnson '13, John Kabangu '13 and Ben Klopfenstein '13 worked with doctors and other students to treat sick and injured Haitians. The trip was made possible by the Gary D. Cieslak Memorial Scholarship, which was founded by the class of 1980 in honor of Cieslak '80, a pediatric anesthesiologist who passed away in 2009.
Traveling into villages and towns, the students interviewed potential patients in order to pinpoint those most in need of care. The students were then able to assist doctors in performing minor medical procedures.
"It's very important for these students to get experience," said Frank Doe, associate professor of biology and coordinating faculty member for the mission. "They won't get accepted into medical school unless they have some idea of what a doctor does."
Hands-on experience can also inspire future doctors. "I was overwhelmingly convinced that I wanted to become a physician after going to Haiti," said Klopfenstein.
Without the support of UD alumni and friends this rewarding experience would not have been possible for these five students. Those interested in contributing to the legacy of Gary Cieslak and providing other outstanding pre-med students with similar opportunities can visit alumni.udallas.edu/cieslak.