In his role with the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an assistant professor and as the clerkship director of emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. Leveraging years of experience working in a foreign country, Dr. Michael Parsa is an integral part of El Paso’s medical community, which provides millions of dollars in healthcare services to area residents at no cost each year.
El Paso’s unique border location provides a stark comparison of the availability and accessibility of medical services in the United States and Mexico. A 2016 review of Mexico’s healthcare system conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that the percentage of the country’s population unable to afford health care services had declined to 0.8 percent from 3.3 percent 10 years earlier.
The review found improvement in key indicators, including deaths from heart attacks, infant mortality rates, and patient satisfaction due to the availability of affordable medical services. Additionally, efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle to the Mexican population, such as higher taxes on sugar and better food labeling, also have contributed to the country’s overall improvement in its healthcare system.
Michael Parsa El Paso
Professor Dr. Michael Parsa teaches classes at Texas Tech University, where he serves as full time clinical faculty member. His commitment to medicine and his university extends beyond his professional obligations, and Dr. Michael Parsa accordingly volunteers his time with the school’s student-run free clinic near El Paso.
Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) prides itself on its leadership in medical education. In addition to being the only medical school in the United States to require competency in medical Spanish, PLFSOM operates the innovative Medical Student Run Free Clinic. This no-cost medical facility provides care to patients who cannot otherwise afford it in the greater Sparks, Texas, community.
While both students and faculty members volunteer their time in the clinic, it is entirely run by medical students. They handle every aspect of clinic operations, from administrative duties to critical triage decisions. What began in 2013 as a once-monthly clinic has grown to a bi-weekly operation in just three years, thanks to the dedicated all-volunteer staff.
Prior to assuming his post as a full-time clinical faculty member at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Parsa of El Paso, Texas, spent more than three years on a medical mission in Papua New Guinea, where he drew on his skills to care for patients at Rumginae Hospital. More recently, in 2016, Dr. Michael Parsa left El Paso for two months to return to Rumginae Hospital as a volunteer.
Located in Kiunga, Rumginae Hospital is a 60-bed facility that oversees five regional health centers, 10 local aid posts, and a training school for community health workers (CHW). Each January, the training school accepts 45 students.
Ruminage Hospital also invites medical students who are in their final year of study and are interested in medical missionary work to spend a minimum of six weeks training and assisting at the hospital. Through the support of these medical missionaries, the hospital can continue to provide its vital services. Along with in-person support, the hospital accepts financial contributions and donations of medicine and equipment.