By Brittany White, Frist Global Health Leader
This is my last week in Guyana and I can truly say that I am going away from this experience as a better clinician. I have been stretched in ways that will serve me well when I return to the States. Not having the luxury of many tests and medicines that I am used to has made me depend more on my physical exam and lean on my Guyanese colleagues to teach me what they do in this resource-limited setting.
One of my projects while here was to help the residents initiate a journal club and work with individual residents on how to interpret and critique medical journals. This exercise was humbling and made me realize how much I take my training for granted. The residents here are extremely bright and amazing clinicians, but simply had not had much exposure to many of the essential terms and statistical methods that are crucial in understanding medical journals. It was very satisfying to watch the Guyanese residents present the journals to their peers and explain the often dreaded methods section which is full of statistics that are hard to understand (and explain!). Now that they have been given some of the tools needed, they plan to continue journal club on a regular basis.
I have grown to love and appreciate the culture here. The patients are so appreciative even for the smallest of things. Even during my short time in Georgetown, I ran into several patients or patients' family members around town and they all called out "Doc, Doc!" and greeted me with a warm hug and many thanks for the care I gave. I feel like many cultures have grown to expect the care we give and do not feel the need to show appreciation, or maybe just don't take the time. I definitely did not go into medicine for the appreciation by any means, but it speaks of the warm and kind culture that represents many in Guyana.