Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why We Do What We Do

Today was our first day in the clinic and I'm at a lost or words. I was so excited that I was back in a country that I'm glad to call my second home. I spent two years of my life here and it's this country that has inspired me and pushed me to pursue a career in medicine, specifically global health.

Today allowed me to see a piece of what I could be doing in the future, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. I started off my day working in Spanish pediatrics with Doctora Patricia, who's experience and knowledge definitely transcended in the doctor's room. She was kind, loving and was extremely good with kids. She highly emphasized the importance of the growth curve and how mothers should always ask for them and know what they mean. While there was some difficulty in understanding her methods and trying to figure out how to incorporate our methods with hers when it came to the clinic, everything in the end turned out great.

The second part of my day included working with Dr. Lauri, another pediatrician. She was very informative and allowed us to be hands on, more than you could ever get in a shadow visit. She challenged us and got us thinking on important pediatric issues such as failure to thrive and what the child should be doing a specific age, such as being able to sit up by 6 months with support or babbling words near 7-8 months. As well, it was amazing to be able to spend time with the little babies who were absolutely adorable. However, among the many children we saw today, many were falling behind on their growth curves, either barely making on it or not even making it. It really brought to light the lack of nutritional foods that the kids have access to as well as fresh water.

Fresh water was something that Dr. Lauri highly emphasized and asked questions about for each family, because many of the root causes of the sicknesses and illnesses in children are caused due to drinking non purified water. She constantly brought up the clay water filters we have that were donated and that members of the community could buy for Q300 (~$43) which would guarantee them fresh water for several years.

Finally, my day ended working in glasses with Rabbi Abie. In particular, we had a specific patient who was 77 years old who was blind in one eye and could barely see in the other eye. She told us she has been considered blind since she was a child. After many trial and error runs, we were able to get to read 20/20 with the glasses and the expression on her face was priceless. She was amazed at the fact that she was finally able to see and it was so heartfelt that we all started to tear up and we shared a sweet moment with her.

This is why we do what we do. These people who come and sit for hours on end without complaining just to get basic healthcare offered to them are just incredible. That have offered more to me than I think I could ever offer to them. We are one with these people, no matter where we come from, no matter what religion or cultures we have, in the very core we are all human who deserve love and care.

Angela Ellis

No comments: