Written by Brian Song, MD, PGY4 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Otolaryngology Residency Program on a Global Health rotation with Bay Area Surgical Mission in Daet, Philippines.
I was anxious and excited leading up to our medical mission trip. We had a diverse team from across the United States and the two other otolaryngologists I was scheduled to work with were from New Mexico and mere acquaintances. Coordination was challenging requiring lots of emailing and phone calls. Yet, we had experienced leadership within a well-established organization who ensured the logistics proceeded without issue.
The flight to the Philippines was 14 hours spanning 7000 miles. In this modern age, flights anywhere are ubiquitous with standard amenities and service. The moment we stepped on that plane, we could have been traveling anywhere. Therefore, the reality of our upcoming adventure did not come to fruition until we arrived. The Philippines is