A contribution from Dr. Rajdev (general surgery resident):
Have you ever traveled to a different country and thought to yourself, man, I wish my twelve best friends could see all the amazing things I’m seeing? Well for the Week 2 Gang, our wishes have come true.
Say hello to Toni, Bernard, Greg, Mannie, Venecia, Bonnie, Amit, Jason, Ann, Priya, Dr. Carney, Dr. Sullivan, and Dr. Srinivasan. We’re joining the M4 ground crew (Stef, Corinne, Beth, Danielle, Lindsey, and Uday) and our stellar translators, Des and Edjour. We started our trip two days ago, so we’ll get you up to speed on our journey to home base in Pignon.
We started out just like the week one crew did in Port Au Prince. Flying into PAP is always an interesting experience—three hours of flying south into the heart of the Caribbean when all of a sudden, the turbulence starts, the clouds part, the Haitian coastline grabs you and boom, you’re there.
We met up with the Week 1 crew at the Marriot hotel to get the low-down on hospital logistics and to get the scoop on the cases the team was able to do. All told, with the help of Dr. Painson and Dr. Jean Charles (our Haitian surgical and anesthesia colleagues), the group was able to do 25 cases, the majority of which were inguinal hernia repairs and mandible plating. Just after the last case was complete on Friday, a facial/neck trauma arrived. See our last blog post for details—we’ll keep you all posted on our patient’s progress as we work towards getting him back to normal life.
On Sunday, we loaded up our vans and drove into the heart of the country towards Pignon. The ground crew seemed excited to see some new faces arrive at the house. It’s unclear if this excitement was genuine or if they’re slowly going mad with cabin fever. Regardless, we high-tailed it over to the hospital to replenish our supplies. As you’ll see from these pictures, Dr. Sullivan was a very agile monkey-in-the-middle. In spite of best her efforts to thwart them, the students got the supplies stocked up and ready to go for the week. This is the most orderly supply room we’ve seen to date—three cheers for shoe organizers!
After a quick rooftop workout session, the afternoon continued with a quick tour of the hospital and some PM rounds on some patients we are getting ready for surgery this week. We joined up with our Haitian colleagues, who include Dr. Mondestine (General Surgery), Dr. Jean Charles (Anesthesiology, pictured), and a group of CRNA students, and assessed several patients for prostatectomies and inguinal hernia repairs.
A substantial amount of our learning experience at Hopital Bienfesance for the past two years has been about understanding hospital and operating room processes. Indeed, we want our trip to add benefit without disrupting the flow of the hospital as it exists. In a future blog post, we will delve into the interesting history of the hospital that has so generously invited us to be here. But for now, suffice it to say that our stellar M4s have built on all their experiences and work here from over the past two years to keep us efficient and keep our inconveniences to a minimum. Just take a look at the OR board and patient work-up process:
Nothing tastes better than an ice-cold Coke at the end of the day, and no, we’re not just saying that because we’re Emory-bred (ok maybe we are *a little*—thank you, Whitehead family!). The team gathered for dinner, some brief introductions, and a high-yield teaching session with Dr. Carney in preparation for a cryptorchidism case on the schedule for Monday. As the night wound down, the unmistakable aroma of an approaching storm wafted through screen doors, filling up the house. And at last, we went to bed, listening to the pitter patter of raindrops as land on the sturdy leaves of the mango trees outside the dorm, dreaming of a productive week to come.