The idea for Medical Studies Abroad began many years ago when Dr. Nelson joined Austin Smiles for a trip to El Salvador to repair cleft lips and palates. After the trip, he was inspired to improve his Spanish speaking ability but found it difficult to find the combination of Medical Spanish and Continuing Medical Education credits that he needed.  He wanted to create a conference where attendees could enjoy a great Spanish speaking destination while improving their Spanish so that they could serve their communities and patient populations in a more efficient and empathetic manner.


Dr. Nelson and Medical Studies Abroad have continued to support Austin Smiles as well as many other community and global organizations that are working to improve the health of our neighbors.










Medical Studies Abroad is a long time supporter of the Travis County Medical Alliance whose mission is to improve the health of central Texans. Cindy has served as President, Gala Chair, Secretary and Webmanager for this philanthropic arm of the Travis County Medical Society.  Dr. Nelson has volunteered at health screening events, bicycle helmet give-aways and fundraising events.










In January of 2010, a devastating earthquake rocked the country of Haiti. Many healthcare workers responded to the call for help.  David and Cindy traveled to the small city of Titenyan just outside of Port Au Prince where the Mission of Hope is located. They worked for a week alongside orthopedic and plastic surgeons to bring relief and care to many who otherwise had no hope of help.  Pictured here are RoseMarie and Nettie.  RoseMarie walked into the clinic holding her arm which had a compound fracture of the humerus bone. Her arm had been broken for over 6 months with no care. Nettie went with her everywhere to help care for her.  It was an honor and a privilege to be able to offer a small bit of comfort to those who had so little.