Springfield College

Keynote Speaker: Mr. Charles Milch

school of health
    sciences and

mission statement

Academic Departments
  • emergency medical

  • occupational

  • physician assistant
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation and
        disability studies

  • Clinic with patients in the outside waiting room.
    Clinic with patients in the outside waiting room

    On Saturday, October 15, at the MAPA Fall Conference on Cape Cod, the Annual Meeting of MAPA Membership convened. During this time, besides hearing an update on the issues facing MAPA this year, members were pre­sented with a keynote speaker, who is one of “our own”. Mr. Charles (“Chuck”) Milch is a Massachusetts physician assistant, as well as a member of the MAPA Board of Directors. He is a practicing PA as well as a member of the faculty of the Springfield College Physician Assistant Program. Mr. Milch gave his talk on “Delivering Primary Care in Developing Countries”, which is a topic that he is obviously very passionate about. In his unassuming way, and armed with wonderful slide photographs from his own trips, Mr. Milch painted the picture of what it is like to volunteer in a truly underserved area.

    Toddler with an upper respiratory infection
    Toddler with an upper respiratory infection

    Mr. Milch has made volunteer trips to Nicaragua, where he partici­pated in building a school, living amongst the families there, and offering healthcare and health education to the Nicaraguan people. He spoke about how personally sat­isfying his trips have been, and how important he feels experiencing life outside the United States to be. He stressed the importance in being creative and flexible, both in traveling, and in providing healthcare outside of the United States. His talk was thought-provoking, and intriguing. This is a man who is not afraid of a chal­lenge, and he makes the work of finding and pursuing a volunteer opportunity a very tangible and possible task.

    88 year old woman with right knee OA
    88 year old woman with right knee OA

    Mr. Milch provided a myriad of websites that could be helpful, and especially recommended “Physician Assistants for Global Health” (www.pasforglobalhealth.org) as an excellent site for information regarding volunteer organizations and international work for Physician Assistants. We thank Mr. Milch for providing an excellent talk. His photographs captured the poignant moments, the everyday scenes punctuated by poverty, and the expressive faces of 81 Nicaraguan people that he cared for and befriended. It was clear how touched by his experiences he is, and I’m sure that his passion for this work inspired others in the audience to think about pursuing an opportunity to vol­unteer either at home or overseas. Mr. Milch used a quote in his talk by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu in commenting about travel. It seems to speak about taking trips, for pleasure, work, or for a volunteer opportunity, as well as our travels through life... .“A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent upon arriving.”

    Making friends and offering some basic health advice
    Making friends and offering some basic health advice

    Hopefully you are all enjoying your travels and experi­ences in your chosen field, and perhaps some may be able to take the opportunity to branch out along the way, and become involved in a volunteer experience.

    Updated: 02/22/2006

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