I spent the first 2 weeks of June in the Dominican Republic with an international medical service group from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. It was a part of a larger program--the Honduras Outreach Medical Brigada Relief Effort (HOMBRE).
This was the first year that the DR was part of HOMBRE. Things went well for the first 1/2 of the trip, but as we were getting ready to transition to another site we were attacked in our hotel. You can read a little more detail at the Dominican Aid Society of Virginia (DASV) website (the "What We Think" section) as I'm really not up to re-writing it.
I believe international medical service trips are valuable and are important. Medical students that participate in international trips are more likely to work in underserved communities and to pursue primary care careers. These events will not dissuade us from returning to the DR, but we will be working to figure out how to try and avoid any similar events down the road.
5 weeks ago