Cavilla on campus discussing Flying Doctors

They travel all over the world, volunteering their time to promote medical care, dental care and education to those most in need — and the idea started right here at the University of Lethbridge.

Alumnus Dr. Benjamin Cavilla founded Flying Doctors of Canada with the genesis of the idea born while he was a student at the University of Lethbridge. Watching the devastation of a 1998 hurricane that pummeled Honduras and left an estimated 17,000 people dead, the scene had an impact on the young Cavilla.

"Entire villages were washed away. I remember being really moved by that," Cavilla told the Lethbridge Herald in a 2008 interview.

It prompted him to start thinking about his future life as a doctor and had him change his focus away from becoming a medical specialist to that of medical relief. Out of that blossomed the Flying Docs.

Cavilla is at the U of L on Tuesday, Sept. 21, giving a presentation at 12:15 p.m. in D633. The presentation is from the U of L PreMed Club and will discuss the Flying Doctors' recent trip to El Salvador, as well as how students can join the 2011 mission to El Salvador as part of their unique "Doctors of Tomorrow" program.

Those who enjoy traveling, getting hands on medical experience and, most of all, serving others in need, should attend this presentation.

Flying Doctors of Canada is an organization of doctors, nurses and general volunteers who provide health care and health education with a focus on primary prevention in developing countries. The program also allows local pre-professional students to gain first-hand medical experience in a developing country.