Service Learning Trips

Immokalee Service Learning Trip


FSUCares medical students volunteers and Florida State University College of Medicine faculty pose in front of a unique bus found during a tour of Pacific Farms during their 2017 service-learning trip.


The mission of the FSUCares Immokalee Service Learning Trip is to introduce medical students to the life of migrant farm workers through an immersion experience during spring break. The goal is to help students understand the psychosocial realities and disparities that impact health and illness in this underrepresented population within the state of Florida and to also help the students acquire skills that will better equip them to work with this population.


Students spend a week during spring break providing medical screenings and education with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida at FSU College of Medicine’s Immokalee Health Education Site with FSU College of Medicine faculty. Students participate in outreach health fairs with other agencies in Immokalee and learn about the migrant lifestyle by visiting workers’ homes, fields, packing houses, and other sites. Such Immokalee agencies and partnerships with FSUCares Immokalee SLT include the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Lipman Produce, and ¡Ciclovia Immokalee!


View an informational poster about the medical service-learning trip to Immokalee, FL


A medical student checks the blood pressure of a migrant worker during a health screening. 

Some of the many varieties of produce sold at Immokalee's local farmer's market.

A medical student provides a blood glucose test and offers health recommendations to a migrant worker during a health screening.

A medical student advises high school students who are conducting a frog dissection during their biology class at Immokalee High School.


FSUCares volunteers visit Pacific Farms to learn about the growth and picking processes of tomatoes. 


FSUCares medical students volunteers and Florida State University College of Medicine faculty pose for a photo after a day of health screenings in Immokalee.

FSUCares Panama Mission Trip Team

FSU College of Medicine students Michelle Miller and Joshua Counihan work
as a team to provide physical exams to patients in Filipinas, Panama.


The Panama Outreach mission strives to expose medical students to the epitome of rural medicine by providing care for and living with Panamanian natives. By becoming immersed culturally, the medical students experience life in remote Panamanian villages and understand the population’s healthcare needs.


Becoming a cornerstone of FSUCares’ international efforts, Panama continues to provide rich experiences for medical students. With the first group of students going in 2001, the size of the project has grown, but the scope has remained the same: allow medical students to participate in a fulfilling experience serving a rural population. Currently we are concentrating our efforts on a long term partnership with Filipinas, Panama. In the past students have also provided service in Portobelo, Panama.

View an informational poster about the medical service trip to Panama

Spring 2005 Filipinas group at one of the clinics in the area.
Students at clinic
Spring 2015 group touring the Hospital in the city of Panama.
Students at clinic
Class of 2017 student Kaitlin Nicholson and Class of 2013 Pediatrician Melissa Velarde caring for the youth Panama during an FSUCares medical mission trip.
Student taking blood pressure
Students distribute toys to the Filipina kids on the last day of clinic.


FSU College of Medicine students interested in joining the Filipina, Panama Service-Learning Trip, are required to enroll in Medical Spanish course at FSUCOM. Medical Spanish is offered in Low Intermediate and Beginning levels.  


Elementary Medical Spanish I Fall Semester

Mondays or Fridays

Elementary Medical Spanish II Spring Semester  Mondays
Intermediate Medical Spanish Fall Semester Thursdays


FSU College of Medicine students with proficient fluency in Medical Spanish, may bypass the Medical Spanish class by having a conversation with the course director or trip leader in medical Spanish.




"While on the FSUCares service learning trip in Immokalee I realized the difference a physician can make by knowing another language. I was so thankful for the opportunity to take the Medical Spanish elective so that I had the chance to reach out to this very underserved population." 
 - Dr. Nicole Dillow, M.D., Class of 2015


"Medical Spanish helped me to get the most out of my global health experience in Panama. It was a weekly commitment that never felt like a burden, yet still gave me the tools and practice to enhance my care for Spanish-speaking patients. Professor Sualdea was encouraging and understanding to those who, like me, had limited experience with Spanish. She motivated us without overwhelming us, creating a relaxed environment that was often quite entertaining." 
 - Dr. Juliana J. Matthews, M.D., Class of 2015


"I took medical Spanish and it helped me tremendously on numerous rotations from Immokalee to Washington DC to North Carolina and of course at my own regional campus. Don't miss this excellent opportunity to learn skills that will help you better serve your patients!"
- Dr. John D. Hales, III, M.D., Class of 2015