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Three weeks in Cambodia with Travis Weiszhaar

Three weeks in Cambodia with Travis Weiszhaar

For Travis Weiszhaar, Physician Assistant at Seasons Family Medicine and Lieutenant Colonel in the Idaho National Guard, providing quality health care is an integral part of his life. Recently Weiszhaar returned from a three week deployment in Cambodia where he assumed the role of medical provider for 150 soldiers, and also helped train with the Cambodian Military’s medical staff.

For Travis Weiszhaar, Physician Assistant at Seasons Family Medicine and Lieutenant Colonel in the Idaho National Guard, providing quality health care is an integral part of his life.  

Recently Weiszhaar returned from a three week deployment in Cambodia where he assumed the role of medical provider for 150 soldiers, and also helped train with the Cambodian Military’s medical staff.

“While we were over there we integrated with the Cambodian military and physicians and got to know them really well,” Weiszhaar explained. “They are some of the nicest, most humble, people I have ever met.”

To help with translation between Khmer (Cambodia’s official language) and English, the Cambodian military provided interpreters, most of which were actually medical school students who could better understand medical terminology.

In addition to general military training, Weiszhaar’s troop was able to assist with the reconstruction of a local school’s plumbing system in order to provide safe drinking water and improve sanitation. “The medics also attended one afternoon donating supplies – including mosquito nets for better prevention of malaria,” Weiszhaar said.

The troop was also able to hold a coordinated blood drive with the Red Cross, which turned out to be a big event.

Near the end of the three week training both military troops broke away from the routine and had a sports day. “We played a lot of games together that day,” Weiszhaar explained. “Soccer was especially fun, as we scored the first two goals… and ended up gracefully losing to our Cambodian friends who scored the remaining 11.”

During the end of his stay, Weiszhaar recounted how vastly different health care systems can be between countries. “It’s easy to take a lot of what we have for granted,” Weiszhaar said. “There is still a lot of work to be done in Cambodia, with malaria and typhoid being top concerns for the country’s health care providers; but things are getting better.”

Of all the things he was most impressed with Weiszhaar explained, “The people of Cambodia were absolutely incredible. We learned a great deal from each other during those three weeks. It’s an experience I will never forget.”

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