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Phyllis Campbell, M.D. - On a Mission to Make a Difference

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Department: Good Deeds

By: Tracy M. Fitzgerald - May 27, 2011

From the time she was very young, Phyllis Campbell, M.D. dreamed of someday becoming a physician. Today, she considers it a blessing to practice medicine, using her knowledge and skills to positively impact people in her own community and also across the globe.

Dr. Campbell helping in St. Lucia

Once a month, the Howard County General Hospital physician volunteers her time at the People’s Wellness Center in Montgomery County, which offers medical services to those without health insurance. Dr. Campbell provides free routine health exams to approximately 20 women each month, emphasizing the importance of prevention and early detection, and providing guidance and resources when more elaborate diagnostic testing and treatment are necessary.

“The women who come into the clinic are so appreciative of what I am doing for them,” Dr. Campbell said. “I am very grateful for the chance to give back to my community.”

In 2007, Dr. Campbell took her volunteerism to another level by participating in a medical mission trip to Haiti. She worked from sun up to sun down each day, providing health screenings and treatment to people who do not ordinarily have access to medical care. The experience was so positive and personally rewarding that a year later, Dr. Campbell officially joined Dorcas Medical Mission, a faith-based volunteer organization that donates medical care to disadvantaged individuals across the globe.

Dr. Campbell’s most recent mission trip was to St. Lucia, where approximately 2000 residents of the southern Caribbean island sought treatment for a full range of medical issues.

“You go to these underprivileged parts of the world and see people that have so much less than what you do. It really teaches you to appreciate the little things in life that are so often taken for granted,” Dr. Campbell said. “Hot showers and toilets that flush are a given in America. In many parts of the world, they are not.”

While Dorcas provides the medical supplies necessary for each of its mission trips, Dr. Campbell is responsible for her own travel costs, which have been supported in part by donations from her church and the surrounding medical community. In the future, Dr. Campbell hopes to return to Haiti, where a significant need for medical care still exists in the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the island in January 2010.

Dr. Campbell was born and raised in Baltimore and completed all of her medical training in Maryland, including a medical degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a residency program at Sinai Hospital. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and served both obstetrical and gynecologic patients before transitioning exclusively to GYN care in 2005. After so many years in practice, she continues to be inspired by the evolving field of medicine.

“I enjoy that medicine is always changing, and that my job requires me to be brave and constantly willing to learn,” Dr. Campbell said. “I love the challenge of the human body. To me, it’s an art.”

Article reprinted with permission granted by the Maryland Physician Magazine, May/June 2011.