Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ask: Southeast senior Sara McElroy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sara McElroy is planning another medical mission trip in February. -Submitted photo.

Southeast Missouri State Student Sara McElroy is an undergraduate and recently went on a missionary trip to Nicaragua to help those in need. She was chosen to go on the trip with Dr. James Hoffman, who practices in Cape Girardeau, and the Baptist Medical & Dental Mission international.

What are you majoring in?

McElroy: The correct term for my major is biomedical science. I am basically going into pre-med to become a doctor.

You went on this missionary trip to Nicaragua recently, how was that?

McElroy: Yeah I did. We went there and held a three-day medical clinic for those who are in need of assistance. It was amazing to see how rough they have it there and how people would walk miles just so that they can come get help from us. It was a really small village where we had our medical clinic, but the people were so grateful and the littlest thing meant so much to them.

Did you have a favorite part or something that stuck out to you the most?

McElroy: I think for me it was seeing how excited the kids got after they had received treatment and got their prescription medicine. They were so grateful and they just had the biggest smiles on their faces.

How did this change you personally and/or professionally?

McElroy: Well, professionally for my major, it showed me that I was doing the right thing. I was not actually able to give treatment or medical attention since I am still in school, but seeing the other doctors help these people made me really realize that this is what I really want to do with my life. If I could do something like this all the time, and help people, I would be lucky. Personally, it made me see how much we in America take things for granted. The little things we have here are like luxuries to people in this country.

What was it like to be picked for this missionary trip when you haven't even graduated yet?

McElroy: It was such a privilege. I didn't really know what to expect, but just watching them was amazing. Even though I couldn't do the actual treatments, I was able to serve them in other ways and do my part.

What are some challenges you think you might face with this profession?

McElroy: Well, I am applying for medical school, and that is a tough process in itself. Then medical school is going to be a big challenge with all the studying and competition against other future doctors. I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I am excited for it.

Any future plans?

McElroy: I am planning to attend another trip similar to this one next February to Honduras, and then just finishing up here at Southeast and then going on to medical school.