December 2014 Trip Report


I hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday season and looking forward to a happy and prosperous new year.  This past calendar year has certainly been good to our clinic in many ways, including that we did not cancel any of the ten scheduled clinics in 2014 because of weather or other problems.

I don’t recall if I’ve shared my personal ‘fret’ list when it comes to the making of a clinic, but the list follows including discussion of why December’s clinic, one again, demonstrated that my fretting is a waste of time.   It was a great clinic, but I do confess to running out of adequate descriptors because I don’t remember one that wasn’t very successful and rewarding in its own way.

First on the fret list would be not having a strong and well-rounded group of providers and support staff.  I didn’t know if we’d get many volunteers for a clinic scheduled so close to Christmas.  With one exception that was not a problem; we had no dentists.  A week before clinic there were three scheduled, two Aeromedicos and one of our own, but it was not to be.  It’s hard to be overly concerned because we had such a strong dental clinic in November.   I also remember times when we had none lined up a week before, but by clinic had a full compliment.  Somehow, it usually just all works out.

One notch higher on my fret list is to have that well-rounded group of providers and support staff, but not having enough airplane seats to get those generous volunteers to clinic.  That’s been much less a problem lately because we have had new pilots, complete with appropriate aircraft, join our ranks.  As with the last many clinics, we did have enough seats to get all our dedicated volunteers to clinic.

So what’s number one on my fret list?  It’s having the volunteers and airplane seats (and also the weather) all gel and then having poor patient turnout.  I really dislike anyone getting the sense that after making their very generous donation of time, money and skills, there was not very much to do.   I admit spending some ‘fret energy’ on the patient turnout at this clinic, again because we were so close to Christmas.  Check off the ‘no problem’ box because we did have a good turnout.   It wasn’t blockbuster turnout, but very respectable.  As always you can find the numbers at Alicia’s blog

Then as icing on the cake, there was Santa at Hotel Serenidad.   The picture below is, as they say, worth a thousand words.  As you recall, each year the list of the children of hotel employees is provided by Serenidad .  Bob Funk and his elves did their usual fine job of assembling the backpacks, each filled with gender and age appropriate gifts.  As for the jolly man in red below, he is a physician, fluent in Spanish and a pilot, (airplane pilot, I’m guessing this Santa doesn’t have a sleigh rating) and also an excellent Santa Claus.  He even came complete with family member elves to help with the distribution.




Our next clinic is January 16-18 and is scheduled for both Lopez Mateos and LSI.  I look forward to 2015 as another year of successful and rewarding clinics and to the comradery and the good will of all involved that is the hallmark of our Phoenix chapter.


¡ Viva las clínicas !