Health Fairs Establish Trust in Medicine
As a student of medicine, I believe that participation in local health fairs offers a unique experience that cannot be acquired from classrooms. Students are able to practice and implement learned methods. Classroom settings tend to be isolated, preventing us from truly putting everything together. When volunteering at a health fair, everything we learn in classes comes together to create a complete picture.
For example, as students we learn to take vitals but at a health fair, we must also apply key principles learned in bioethics about informing your patient what you want to do to and getting their consent to do so. Health fairs allow us to put these tasks together into one cohesive method.
Along with enabling students to practice what they've learned, one of the main benefits of health fairs is that they are generally held in areas that don't have clinics or hospitals nearby. Most people in such areas don't usually go to the clinic regularly or even in illness because it is inconvenient for them to travel there. Therefore, many resident look forward to health fairs because the medical professionals come to them.
Many people come to our health fairs for the first time. There is a higher chance of people attending a local health fair than traveling to clinics farther away. They can feel more comforted by the fact they are attending a local event where they may encounter people from their neighboring areas. They can gain exposure to medical procedures and maybe learn something about their health and the importance of checking one's health regularly. Another benefit of having health fairs in local, accessible areas near residential homes is that health professionals can provide service to many members of the same family. In clinics, the professional generally only gets to assess an individual's health.
The most vital thing that health professionals get from local health fairs is that at the end of the day, they have created a sense of trust among individuals that were not previously familiar with the concept of medicine. Developing this trust with members of the local community allows them to feel more comfortable disclosing health information to the healthcare professionals. They might even consider going to clinics and hospitals for their illnesses because they have more familiarity with medicine and medical professionals.
I particularly remember one woman attending a health fair for the third time. Even after only two previous visits, she already had knowledge regarding her blood pressure and vision. She walked into the center with ease and comfort, knowing exactly what was going to be occurring next.
It is the responsibility of a physician to assure patients that their health and wellness is the physician's priority. As a student in medicine, I believe that health professionals have been successful when they inspire local community members to come back to our health fairs or ask when the next one will be held.