By Sean Scheiner, Data Coordinator

Attending this year’s International Street Medicine Symposium (ISMS) in Pittsburgh was a great experience. I got to know so many inspiring people from across the country that are involved in Street Medicine, and learn some useful, collaborative ideas to bring back to our Santa Barbara community. The most substantial workshop that I attended while at the symposium was regarding cooperation among various community organizations and social services. Santa Barbara specifically has a large handful of independent actors all dedicated to providing for the underserved population, and the only way to do that is by working together. We were able to have a large discussion-based forum with ideas and proven techniques for promoting unity among local agencies with the same goals. We’ve returned from the symposium with a new toolbox of ideas to advocate for community cooperation and ultimately, for more effective outcomes for our patients. Another meaningful takeaway for me from our Pittsburgh trip was spending time with past volunteer leaders of DWW-SBSM and learning about their incredible contributions to the underserved populations in their communities. It was motivating to see those with whom we volunteered in the parks years ago building on the lessons they learned from Doctors Without Walls to continue making a positive impact on the world. One of the priorities of Doctors Without Walls is to educate our student volunteers, and it was clear from ISMS that that mission is being upheld thoroughly. I’m grateful that Doctors Without Walls gave me the opportunity to attend the ISMS this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s symposium has to hold.