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This Is What A Trip To The Doctor Looks Like For People In Appalachia

Remote Area Medical is a nonprofit volunteer service that offers much needed medical aid to uninsured Americans in isolated and impoverished areas. For many, it's the only health care available.

Posted on July 28, 2017, at 11:14 a.m. ET

For three days a year, Remote Area Medical stages a number of health clinics across Appalachia, offering much needed medical, dental, and vision services to individuals and families without heath coverage. Some are forced to sleep overnight in their cars to see a doctor, while long lines and excessive waiting is a common scene. But for many, Remote Area Medical provides health services that would otherwise be entirely unobtainable.

These pictures capture what a rare trip to the doctor looks like for many Americans.


John Moore / Getty Images

A patient prepares for a dental procedure at the Remote Area Medical mobile clinic on July 21, 2017, in Wise, Virginia.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters
John Moore / Getty Images
John Moore / Getty Images
Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Patient number 35 out of 150 waits for free RAM aid outside Greensville County High School in Emporia, Virginia, on June 25.

John Moore / Getty Images

Medical volunteers assist a woman who collapsed while awaiting medical services in Wise on July 21.

John Moore / Getty Images

A patient receives medical care from onsite dentists in Wise on July 21.

John Moore / Getty Images
John Moore / Getty Images
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

A man has his blood tested at the RAM clinic in Olean, New York, on June 10.

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

A nurse checks the blood pressure of a patient at Greensville County High School on June 25.

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Six-year-old Mallory Collin of Abington, Virginia, has her teeth cleaned at the RAM clinic in Wise on July 22.

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images
John Moore / Getty Images

A volunteer checks a patient's vision at the RAM clinic in Wise on July 21.

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images
Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Patients check out free glasses at Greensville County High School on June 25.

Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images
John Moore / Getty Images
John Moore / Getty Images
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

After sleeping in their car, 5-year-old Oran McCall and his mother wait to register to see a doctor at the RAM clinic in Olean on June 10.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.