Clinic Abroad experience opened the eyes of 2006 grad
As a student at Palmer’s Davenport Campus, 2006 graduate John Towers, D.C., was convinced to go on a Clinic Abroad trip by his then-girlfriend, now his wife. "I asked to go to Vietnam," he says, "because I wanted to play soccer on the trip."
He had no idea what to expect. "I was a little nervous because I’d never been to any other country but Canada. All I knew Vietnam for was the war."
Vietnam was a complete surprise. "Once we got there, it was amazing," Dr. Towers said. "The people were really nice—they treated us like superstars!"
He and his group were in Vietnam for three weeks and treated patients in four different villages. "Many of the villages looked as if the war just ended yesterday," he said. "I saw many different types of conditions that I’d never see in America. I saw one child who had his Achilles tendons cut due to not being able to walk correctly. His mom asked me to fix him. That was really hard to see."
Other patients were victims of the war. "I saw an older patient whose legs had been blown off," Dr. Towers said. "I have to say that, all things considered, he was one happy gentleman. He pulled himself right onto the table with no help."
Dr. Towers was struck by how happy the people were despite their adversity. "The Vietnamese people seemed to be much happier than many Americans. There were always smiles in every direction we looked. They had very little but were very content and happy with life."
Palmer’s Clinic Abroad Program has been assisting residents in medically underserved locations around the globe since 1996 and is the only one of its kind in chiropractic education.