The Saturday Evening Post


At a bustling primary care clinic in rural Guatemala, Gautam Desai speaks with a mother and her daughters. The girls, ages 2 and 4, are two of nearly 300 patients that Desai and his volunteer team will examine in an auditorium turned makeshift medical center in the mountain town of San Juan Alotenango. Desai’s team includes 11 doctors and 39 med students from Kansas City University, where he’s a physician and family medicine professor, and the room in the town’s municipal building buzzes with a noisy collision of conversations, crying babies, and rambunctious kids.

Desai speaks calmly above the clatter. His two young patients have colds, so he prescribes nasal spray, vitamins,, the colorful, patterned garments worn by many Guatemalan women.

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