“The elective has given me hope that I can find like-minded people in medicine and make a difference in my community…It was a fantastic experience overall.” — D. Kaiser Permanente/Oakland, CA

“Community for Children has re-energized and re-affirmed my intense drive to seek justice – unrelenting and uncompromising justice – for the children and families I care for. It has shown me the great value of partnering with one’s community to affect positive change outside of the beige walls and stale lighting of a hospital.” — V. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“I want to bring away from this elective the passion toward caring for people that I have found here, but that is far too often missing from medicine.” — B., SUNY Upstate

“During the rotation, I saw firsthand that patient advocacy is possible. There are great models available, such as the medical-legal partnership. I learned how important it is to walk in the shoes of your patients. For community advocacy, I learned how much power MDs have to affect change and how important it is to collaborate with others.” — Y., Mount Sinai

"Community for Children is a unique program that brings intelligent and compassionate medical professionals to the Rio Grande Valley. It has been very rewarding to meet these young doctors and help teach them about the reality of unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children held in the Rio Grande Valley. We are fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with this program and hope it continues to thrive and continue to attract the best and brightest doctors and medical students.” — M., ProBAR (Site coordinator for South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Project)

“I think that so much thought was put into this course. Such care. There is no other experience like it. The opportunity to form relationships. The group of people we met each day was incredible. It was amazing.” — K., Cleveland Clinic

“In retrospect, I came down here thinking it would be more of what I had already done. But the experience in Community for Children was actually a critically transformative month for me. I am grateful that this kind of opportunity exists.” — S., Johns Hopkins

“This month has awakened a passion for public health work that was present but not cultivated before. I don’t know how it will work itself into my future practice but I hope to at least go into future experiences with a mindfulness about the issues raised during this rotation.” — J., Mount Sinai

“It was such a privilege to work with the medical students under the Community for Children program. To be able to have such high caliber students, self-starting, extremely professional and sensitive to the medical needs of our particular community, was a priceless experience for us. Their work was logical, concise, and complete. Their recommendations were practical and sensible. The work that they did while with us and our families is valuable as we move forward in community planning and policy-making regarding housing and transportation and the relationship of people having access to health care services. Thank you for this opportunity.” — A., Proyecto Azteca (Site coordinator in colonia)

“Preparing for and meeting with politicians to advocate for children’s health was a high point for me. I never would have done it if I hadn’t been required to, but afterwards I left thinking “that wasn’t so bad; I could do that again.” — L., Morehouse

“Although I have spent considerable time in Mexican communities, both in the United States and in Mexico, I gained a new perspective this month straddling the border at Brownsville. Thank you for this opportunity to learn a deeper and further insight into my community and into myself." — D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“I admit that I had many preconceived thoughts about Mexicans in general which I learned living in New York. Through this elective, I was able to learn about their qualities, their strengths and their suffering. I learned about the important role women can have in their communities as promotoras. I have become more culturally aware which will be helpful in my medical career.” — M., SUNY Upstate

“The other side of the river. The other side of the country. The other side of the world. I look forward to these challenges and I am excited about the journey that lies ahead of me. Thank you for this opportunity to learn a deeper and further insight into my community and into myself as well. I will look forward to our continued contact as I begin this process and will keep you informed along the way. Best wishes to your continued endeavors and success with this incredible rotation.” — D., Georgetown University

“Community for Children helped us to achieve competency as advocates on multiple levels. The things I experienced during this elective lit a fire in me to take up new crusades for children’s and adults’ rights, including health care.” — J., Christiana Care-Delaware

“Community for Children is designed to begin to help physicians change the world, little by little, by exposing problems and giving us the tools to build better solutions. I am grateful for this experience!” — A., Driscoll Children’s Hospital

“Community for Children has allowed me time. Time to listen, really listen, to the world around me. Time to consider problems larger then my daily patient load and time to ponder a solution. Time to reflect….” — D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“The Community for Children program helped me decide on working with Hispanic patients. I want that to be my priority. Also, going on house calls in Brownsville and in Mexico has strengthened my resolve to include this in my future practice. It not only informs me as a physician, but also fills my heart and soul….I sincerely thank you for allowing me to experience a month like no other during my medical school years. The images, the people, the stories. They all made this such an amazing experience.” — S., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“I‘m grateful for the chance we had to interact with and learn from the plethora of physicians, researchers, community mentors, etc. Everyone, had an important point of view to share, and welcomed us graciously. Thank you for giving us this space to step back, to feel less alone, to remember why we wanted to become doctors, to listen to our hearts. It has been an invaluable experience.” — B., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

"I could not have been happier working in the community. I would highly recommend that some element of the things we did be incorporated into the program, even if the participants are permitted to go to Mexico in the future. Painting the shelter with some of the people who lived there really enabled us to hear some of their stories and to learn more about what it is like to cross the river and be undocumented in the US. I also loved participating in the diabetes classes and getting to interact with the adults in the community, because they help to shape the future of the community for the children who live there. I am honestly glad that we couldn't go into Mexico. While it would have been a good experience, getting to hear the stories of those who are trying to make it now that they have arrived is just as central." — S., Johns Hopkins

“I expected a rotation where I would meet other wonderful med students who are into reflecting on their med school experience as well as have positive outlook towards the future & this course definitely fulfilled these expectations. The course definitely exceeded my expectations in the amount of useful information I learned (even in my senioritis mode) – the cross cultural understanding gained from unique experiences like visiting with the curandero and the detention centers were powerful & I shall carry these lessons with me to residency.” — C., University of California/San Diego

“I loved the combination of different experiences and perspectives from the detention center visit to the curandero to the various lectures from the School of Public Health. I felt overall that I got a very comprehensive idea of health at the border.” — S., University of Illinois, Chicago

“I ended up liking the reflection component of this rotation the best. It was something that could be awkward or silly and instead it was so meaningful and made the rotation complete for me. It was nice to get to take something home that means something to me, and to see what means a lot to the other students as well. The reflection component definitely set this rotation apart from other typical rotations, and allows us to take something huge from the month and apply it in the future as well.” — R., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio