By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Kijabe Medical Centre in Kenya welcomed a new physician this summer, Michael Gentry, M.D., from Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s Medical Imaging Department. Dr. Gentry, one of 10 radiologists at the Colton, California, hospital, was the only radiologist manning a CT during his humanitarian mission to Kijabe. He handled 10-to-15 CT studies a day and often walked over to assist sonographers with their ultrasounds.
“I brought my daughters, age five and nine, and my wife. It was our first trip as a family to Kenya,” he said. “I wanted our daughters to see how fortunate they are.”
Dr. Gentry, from Riverside, started traveling when he was in medical school at UCLA and never stopped. He traveled to New Zealand before he graduated and later returned during his UCLA residency and got a New Zealand medical license so that he could do medical work.
“When I got to Stanford as an undergraduate, I already knew that I wanted to study medicine,” said Dr. Gentry. “I grew up around hospitals, where I spent most of my evenings and holidays.
“My older sister was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was entering first grade, and that had a lot to do with my interest in medicine. I was inspired to go into radiology, because of my parents, who are computer programmers. I thought radiology was a good combination of medicine and computers.”
Dr. Gentry did his radiology training at UCLA and then did a two-year trauma radiology fellowship at the University of Maryland. He had just gotten married a few months prior to moving to Maryland, where his wife attended law school.
“My wife asked me if I had ever considered doing medical missionary work,” said Dr. Gentry. “I said, ‘where am I going to find a hospital that has radiology equipment but still needs a radiologist?’ ”
Dr. Gentry found that hospital in Kenya, at Kijabe Medical Centre, which is near Nairobi and is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Dr. Gentry and his family stayed in a three bedroom apartment built in the late 70’s by a long term missionary who brought eight children with him.
“The furnishings were modest but more than adequate,” said Dr. Gentry. “I’d say the worst part of the accommodations was the lack of heat. The evenings were cold so we were forced to bundle up with jackets inside the house.”
Dr. Gentry hopes that his recent trip to Kenya is one of many. He would like to find a way to make humanitarian missions like this part of his professional career.
About Arrowhead Regional Medical Center
ARMC is a 456-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital located on a 70-acre campus in Colton, California, and is a verified Level II trauma center. ARMC operates a regional burn center, primary stroke center, a behavioral health center, four primary care centers including three family health centers, and provides more than 40 outpatient specialty care services. ARMC is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by addressing the community’s wellness and educational needs. For more information on the Countywide Vision, visit: www.sbcounty.gov/vision. Follow ARMC on Twitter at @ArrowheadRMC for important announcements and updates, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowheadregional.