July 1, 2014 - Medical work - Chyangba village Clinic

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July 1, 2014 - Medical work - Chyangba village Clinic  

Today was a good day. We woke up to sunny skies and were all excited to start our second day of clinic. We had a hearty breakfast and headed down to our clinic site to begin seeing patients again. We all learned a lot from having conducted clinic yesterday for many hours, and we used what we learned and made our second shift go much more efficiently. The teams were changed to allow everyone a chance to work with someone else and learn from each other. We no longer bugged Dr. Murphy about our patients, but instead waited for him to come to us. All in all, the day seemed to go much more smoothly than before. Even though the day seemed calmer, it seemed like we saw just as many patients if not more. 

My role yesterday in clinic was to help each group with their technique and history taking. Although it was a great experience to be able to work with each team and go through so many cases, I was able to see my own patients this time which was very refreshing. The practice style is different from what I am used to at our clinics back home. Instead of having as much time as needed to see patients, the seemingly endless line of patients means that there is more of a time factor to consider. There is also a greater emphasis on the history and physical exam because of our limited resources. Indeed, the urine dipstick test, a test which I used to skim over if I saw it in a patient chart back home, has become essential in assessing the health status of a patients kidneys, liver, or general state of health. No longer able to rely on a battery of blood tests, EKGs, and XRays, I am learning to appreciate the art of practicing the fundamentals of medicine in which the history and physical become the main, if not sole, components of diagnosing a patient’s ailments.
I would also like to take the time to praise my fellow undergraduate colleagues on how much they have learned in the past couple of days. They are all extremely professional and kind in the way they interact with patients, and have gained the skills that we learn in medical school in many months. I am sure they are finding the opportunities to interact with patients to be very rewarding, and I hope they are finding this experience invaluable in determining what they hope to accomplish in their career.

I would also like to also personally thank our wonderful trekking team for all they have done for us so far. They have taken care of us every single step of the way, from KTM airport all the way up to Pikey Peak and down to Chyangba. They have made as great of an effort as possible to ensure that we are comfortable, and I am very grateful of that. I would also like to commend their role in helping us run clinics. Without them managing the supplies and interpreting for us, we would not be able to conduct clinic without them. Thank you. I look forward to the next few days to run clinic, teach health classes, and spend time with our team. 

Signing off to a warm hot shower -

- Max