A physician volunteering with World Medical Mission is helping educate Nepali doctors so they can provide quality care even after he's gone
April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week in the United States. We will be spotlighting Samaritan’s Purse volunteers, and volunteer opportunities, throughout the week.
When a missionary doctor volunteers his time and skills to help a hospital in a developing country, he often work as typical physicians do–treating patients, performing surgeries, and helping others heal.
But for Dr. Jon Bishop, a specialist in family medicine and geriatrics, his mission is about leaving more of an impact on the country where he’s volunteering.
While in the past he volunteered as a doctor on short-term mission trips all over the world, now he’s focusing on teaching local doctors and interns through World Medical Mission at the United Mission Hospital in Tansen, Nepal.
“Even though I could do the clinical work, when I leave, it’s like the wave washing away the footprint in the sand,” he said. “I wanted to have a little longer impact, particularly in helping the national doctors to be better trained to make better decisions. In the long run, if I can strengthen the skills of the interns, then its going to be better for those staff that are here than if I was doing clinical work.”
Dr. Bishop spends hours teaching western medicine practices to local doctors and their interns, sometimes focusing on a single patient for hours just to make sure a new skill is learned and more knowledge is acquired.
“I got a chance to work with him for about two weeks,” said Dr. Sandeep Shakya, a Nepali doctor. “He’s very experienced and gives a lot of time. He’s a very good teacher actually.”
Dr. Bishop first heard God’s calling when he was in the third grade and learned about the medical needs of people in Bolivia. Once he began his career, he said he experienced real joy after his first night in Africa on his initial short-term medical mission. But to him, it’s about more than medicine. It’s spreading the hope and love that comes with knowing Jesus Christ.
“To look back at how I’ve been blessed and how God has directed has been a tremendous gift,” Dr. Bishop said. “If they understand a bit about how much God loves them because of the way I lived, that’s enough.”