I was burned out. There is no other way to say it. I worked in a busy Internal Medicine practice. I woke up early and went to the office. I reviewed charts and labs of the patients I was going to see that day. In my schedule, patients were often double or triple booked. After work, I called patients to discuss urgent test results or simply returned their calls. I saw my family for about 1.5 hours for dinner and a brief connection. I would then start charting until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. This same pattern started again every morning – wash, rinse, repeat. I loved my patients but I knew more about some of them than my own children. Finally, in 2014, I knew I needed a change. I was angry all of the time and was not able to give the compassion and empathy I once had to my patients. Worse, I didn’t have any left for my family and friends. I knew I loved medicine, but I didn’t enjoy it anymore. When I looked back on my happiest moments in medicine, it was during mission trips and volunteering at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. So, I called an acquaintance that had just opened a clinic in Ranquitte, Haiti in March of that year. She was looking for healthcare professionals to staff the clinic. I talked to my family, my practice manager, and collaborating physician and began planning a trip for November 2014. I didn’t know the language (Kreyol). I didn’t know my host family. I didn’t know anything about the country or where I was staying. I just planned for the time off from work and took care of the details I could manage. The day before I left, I panicked. What was I thinking? I was taking my first long vacation in 9 years and wasn’t spending any of that time with my family. I felt selfish and scared. In medicine, we spend so much time on minutiae in order to get paid, not get sued, and keep those Internet grades smiling upon us. The orderliness keeps an otherwise chaotic schedule in some sort of check. Now that the trip was imminent, that lack of control was overwhelming. Regardless of my fears, I boarded a plane at 5:30 the next morning for Cap Hatien and hoped for the best. When my host met me at the airport as planned, I was able to exhale a little. We travelled almost 2.5 hours to the town of Ranquitte, Haiti. Over the next two weeks, I learned “McGyver Medicine”. I would go daily to the clinic and use whatever I could find to help the flood of patients coming in. Some people would walk 15 miles or more to receive care. They were kind and funny, and they appreciated everything I did, even when I couldn’t do anything but care. I found myself exhaling more and more as the days went on. Gradually, people from the town came to ask me into their homes to see the sick that were homebound. This was truly a privilege, as the Haitian people are quick to joke but slow to trust. They have had so much trauma, political turmoil, and corruption since the country’s inception that it is amazing they trust foreigners at all. It was these house calls that brought me back in touch with what I believe called me to medicine to begin with…holding the hand of the sick, using my knowledge to heal, and looking in their eyes as we talked. I missed connecting with patients. There is something to be said about no electricity. There are also no computers. I had the chance to practice medicine by listening and jotting down some vitals, differentials, diagnosis, and treatment plan in my own notebook. No one needed my notes to decide what to pay me or grade me or protect me from litigation. (Remember when we used to write down the name of someone’s dog so we could ask the patient about it in the future?) I found myself seeing 50 patients on some days and not feeling exhausted. In fact, I felt invigorated and looked forward to each day in the clinic. I took pictures and selfies with patients. I noticed that my face looked different. I looked younger and happier than I had in a very long time. I wrote a blog every night, enthusiastically recapturing moments that I was afraid to lose once I returned home. When I came home, the magic of Haiti didn’t disappear. I had been giving of myself all day for two weeks and felt more “full” than I had in a very long time. Laughing, empathizing, and focusing were easier. How could I possibly have returned home with more than I left with? Almost as soon as I returned, I made a plan to go back the next year. I did go back, this time creating mobile clinics in Port-au-Prince. I brought a nurse and my 16-year-old son. They had a similar experience to me on my first trip, but this time we were able to reach so many more people by going to the places that people shied away from. We created a makeshift clinic in the top floor of a church. We went to clinics that needed a provider and filled in for a few days. I soon realized the need for this type of mobile healthcare and decided to start a 501[c]3 to match healthcare providers to areas of Haiti that have a clinic but no one to staff them. We are still in the process of developing the organization (non-profit status pending), but are tentatively scheduled to go back to Haiti in November 2016. If you want to let go of the computer and reconnect with why you went into medicine, consider joining me.