Published on March 30, 2023 by Emily Naubert  
Caroline Kizer in India
Caroline Kizer in India

In January, a group of Samford speech-language pathology (SLP) students went on a medical mission trip to India, the first time since 2019. The two-week trip provided them with life-changing experiences, both personally and professionally. 

The group consisted of 11 current SLP students, two alumni, one faculty member, Dr. Carol Koch, and three other allied health care providers. 

Over the course of their trip, students worked alongside local health care providers at local health care settings, such as Pushpagiri Medical College and Pratheeksha Child Development Center, treating more than 140 children and families. 

Their day-to-day activities consisted of clinical work with patients and hands-on clinical training. The SLP students learned to work together with  other speech-language pathologists, physiotherapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and special educators to treat patients interdisciplinarily and find the best and most holistic treatment. 

Caroline Kizer, a current SLP student, expressed how valuable this experience was for her. 

“It was really helpful to learn how the PTs, OTs and SLPs can all work together to co-treat patients,” Kizer said. “I was able to implement some of their goals and strategies to my therapy to give the patients a more holistic treatment”. 

Kizer felt that Samford prepared her well, as she was equipped with the abilities to problem-solve and implement what she learned in class or in clinics.

Not only did the trip contribute to the students’ professional development, but it also had a profound impact on the students personally.

“I was really humbled by the hospitality of the people there,” Kizer said. “We came to serve them, but really I just felt so much more served by them. I felt so humbled, and I want to show the same hospitality and honor to the people around me in a way that resembles the way the people in India treated me.” 

The trip provided students with a unique opportunity to combine their passion for medicine with a desire to serve others. The students agreed that the experience helped shape their personal and professional lives, leaving a lasting impact. 

The speech-language pathology program is housed in Samford’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Health Professions. Learn more here.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.