KYCOM and Go Ministries

Overwhelmed by God’s love: KYCOM in the Dominican Republic 2018
While many students walked across stage to receive their diplomas with beaming smiles in May, 29 members of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) family boarded a plane for the remote bateys (villages) of the Dominican Republic. I once again had the opportunity to make this journey, which started at 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday ended with an 8 p.m. bus stop at Pastor William’s church in Batay Nueve.

Fortunately for the team, the next morning was a powerful time of worship in another local batey as the church was bursting at the seams to see their American friends. During the morning worship, the team shared in praise through singing of two songs and later visited with local children before heading back to home base for the week to organize and prepare for days of medical clinic.
Over the next three days, the KYCOM team worked from sun-up past sun-down providing hands-on medical care under the leadership of John Colston, D.O., assistant professor of osteopathic principles and practices, and student leader Dana Ebb. In these intense clinic days, more than 1,300 people received dignified care and loving service. Students gained necessary skills in Spanish, bedside manner, diagnosis, and pharmacology.

Dana was overwhelmed by the love of God in these clinic days. She said, “Medicine isn’t a career that will make you feel sure. It will give you doubts. It will make you question, ‘Can I do this? Can I handle this? How will I survive?’ But the minute you see a patient or revive someone, that is when you feel it. You feel the security that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life.”
In encouragement of fellow students, she said, “Don’t let those doubts get the best of you. Always have that moment in the day to sit back and remember why you started in the first place. It’s a beautiful day to save lives.”

Fellow student Shannon Caliri said, “I can’t begin to explain how much this trip has affected me. This trip truly changed my life and filled me with so much love, faith, and hope. I came here to help others but in the process, I was healed as well. I’ve never felt so loved and accepted by complete strangers; it was a very eye-opening experience. I was also able to get some clinical experience that I most likely won’t be able to have again for a couple of years. This trip showed me that I’m meant to be right where I am and that I really cannot see myself doing anything else!”

KYCOM serves annually in the Dominican Republic and could not provide any type of lasting impact without the critically important partnership and mission of G.O. Ministries (, based in Louisville, Ky. Through G.O. staff John Martinez, director of pastoral empowerment, and Delores Norman, director of clinical nursing, KYCOM students learn about critical cultural dynamics, gain a heart for the people of the Dominican Republic, and learn how to apply medical knowledge in a way that is most helpful to people who live in the bateys.

The trip was beautifully summarized by student Kate MacKillop when she said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We offer thanks to G.O. Ministries and our new friends in the bateys as KYCOM second-year students will never be the same.

Click Here to view photos from the 2018 Mission Trip.

Grace and Peace,
Rob Musick
UPIKE Chaplain

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