I just wanted to say a few things before I head home:
A couple words of advice:
If you don’t want to have a small right ventricular MI, don’t take a minibus anywhere other than around town.
I have seen things that I have only read about at home (i.e., malaria in pregnancy) and I was shocked to see an eclamptic seizure my first day on the wards.
Working in Surgery at Queens has changed my perception completely. After working here fewer cases will seem hopeless. The surgeons here showed me how much can be done with very few resources and that with a little ingenuity almost any surgery can be performed. The cases they took on were mind-blowing!
Family dinners were my favorite time of the day. We had some life-altering historic milestones (Obama’s inauguration, match day) and I am honored my group was part of that for me.
Days at Queens can be hard and tearful and amazing all at once.
Niamh Condon, Katie Kloss, Shant Korkigian, Emily Gold, Tom Mikulski, Angela Olson, Kim Pfotenhauer, Samantha Strickler
Things our group lacked:
Group 2’s Jams
Things we’re pretty much famous for:
Terrie makes everything here possible, but you make the experience. Embrace everything … your group, the hospital, the weekends, the market, the people, the back porch. Do not get frustrated, take everything with a grain of salt and find the beauty in everything and everyone. Take the hospital seriously. There are a lot of different things to learn and to be gained. Don’t be afraid to walk to your own beat, but be a team player. Your group is a family you won’t forget.
When I look back on this experience in 30 years, I probably won’t remember how I was practically stung/bitten/eaten ALIVE by every insect in Africa. I probably won’t remember that four of us lost our bags for a week and had to wear the same outfit every day. Probably won’t remember my doxy sunburn or that my camera card corrupted itself and now I can’t access any of my pics. I would like to say that I probably won’t remember my near urinary incontinence on safari and had to jump out of the Jeep to relieve myself … but I’ll probably never be able to live that one down. (Beware the Zambian beer!) I WILL remember the laughs, the amazing weekend excursions, the animals. I WILL remember the people – the children smiling and waving and calling “azungu”! These Malawians are some of the most genuine, caring people I’ve ever met. I WILL remember how this country has touched me in a way that few things have. I’ve learned so much about life … and death. I am so luck to have been a part of this. Thank you Terrie for making this possible. You are one of my true heroes and someone I’ll always look up to. I’m anxiously awaiting your book!
Terrie, you are amazing. I really don’t know how you do it, but I aspire to be as motivated and dedicated to my work as you are. I hope we didn’t distract/bother you with our nighttime giggle parties.
I loved this adventure and hope it’s the first of many. When you can, sit on the back porch for as long as you can and talk about life with your colleagues. Never again will you have such a wonderful group of people in one area having such an experience.
Some of my favorites:
For the past six weeks, I have been in the tertiary care “centre” of the 13-million-people-strong nation of Malawi. I think on Surgery you see things other services won’t, e.g., mob justics, wood screws used in Sx. That gives yet another of the many perspectives you’ll develop here.
Be sure to get out and walk around the city — there is so much to see and do! The six will will fly by so take lots of pictures.
Here are some of my favorite things:
I hope that someday I will be as dedicated to patients as Terrie is.
Block III 2009
Sachi Brittin, Libby Egle, Jonathan Egle, Erin Fedak, Neil Malhotra, Nidhip Patel, Ryan Siwiec, Nik Vuljaj