Academics, Campus wide, College of Health Sciences, Student Stories

Physician assistant students planting seeds of service in Dominican Republic

By Sam Arp | October 7, 2022
PA program posing as a group during their service mission

The Charleston Southern Physician Assistant program sent a group of students and faculty to the Dominican Republic on their annual summer trip to serve the local community through medical care. 

Dr. Scott Wade, director of didactic education for the PA program, leads the group that partners with Sowers for the Kingdom. This DR ministry partners with missionaries to connect them to local churches serving their communities year-round. In these churches, the PA students and faculty hosted clinics to treat local patients.

Josh Taryn performing an eye ultrasound

The group also consulted with local pastors to make home visits to those who were unable to come to the clinic. They brought nonperishable food items, medical supplies, and whatever equipment they could carry and sought out those who needed medical help in the community. 

During these home visits, students were confronted with various medical concerns, and while supervised by professors, were able to provide needed medical care. 

Students performed prenatal ultrasounds, administered injections, helped with wound care, and even removed a foreign body from the eye of a local construction worker. The majority of these patients would never get the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their baby to know its sex, receive vitamin C injections, or receive wound care— and students learned how to solve real-world problems with minimal equipment in an underserved community. 

Healthcare workers have the unique experience of meeting an individual in their time of need and offering tangible, necessary service. Because of this, they have the chance to share the Gospel with those who may be inaccessible otherwise. For the CSU PA students, being able to care for the community meant putting the love of God on display for them to see. 

Because of their intentional care, many locals were struck by the compassion of the church and interested in what else the church might have to offer them. Many walked in the doors of the church for the first time in decades, and some for the first time in their lives, just to experience the intentional compassion of the team and local believers. 

Wade said, “We pray, along with them, that they would be drawn in by the church’s love but captivated by the Good News of Christ in a way that changes their lives and the lives of their communities.” 

Taryn providing B12 shot

Lindsey Treacy, a PA student, said, “Having the opportunity to serve God along with my classmates by providing medical care to people in the Dominican Republic was a life-changing experience. This trip allowed me to grow both spiritually and medically. I am extremely grateful I had this opportunity to help such a poor community, but I am even more grateful for the lasting impact these people made on me.” 

The passions and gifts bestowed by God on these students, sharpened and empowered through their education at CSU, enabled them to cross international, lingual, and cultural barriers carrying the love of Christ.

Opportunities like this, Wade said, will hopefully plant “seeds of service” in his PA students that grow into a compassionate life centered on the service of others for the glory of God. 

Anyone interested in sponsoring a student on one of these trips should contact Wade at for opportunities.

The Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program is an Accreditation Review Commission on Education (ARC-PA) Accredited program and is hosting its fifth cohort this academic year.

Sam Arp is a junior English studies major at Charleston Southern University and is an intern in the Marketing & Communication office.

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