By Monica Polcz
A couple of months before I arrived in Kenya, my home institution switched their electronic medical record from Starpanel to Epic. To give a little background, I knew Starpanel. I was efficient at Starpanel. Starpanel was my friend, and Epic was an outsider. I found myself very clever in deeming the transition an "Epic" fail to anyone who would listen weeks before its rollout. Subsequently, on transition day, I felt unsurprised at the almost apocalyptic scene and hospital-wide confusion that ensued. It felt as if I didn't know how to do anything on this new system, but I found some satisfaction in blaming the yellow-vest wearing support team, or "yellow jackets" as we colloquially called them, as well as Epic itself for hindering the efficiency of patient care. It certainly wasn't my fault. I was already halfway through residency and I was efficient. I was confident!
Beth O’Connell became a Frist Global Health Leader in 2010, completing an internship in rural Rwanda for her Bachelor of Public Health. She received the award again in 2013 for an internship in rural Guatemala for her MPH. Today, Beth has earned a DrPH and works as an Assistant Professor in Public and Community Health at Liberty University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate public health courses, while continuing to serve and conduct research to improve health in low-resource communities both domestically and globally.
By Ryan Van Nostrand
This week was an interesting week. During clinic days there were a number of good ultrasound teaching cases including a DVT US which was positive. There was a unique opportunity to go the regional hospital in Linden which is a mining town and more resource poor in terms of medical care.
By Jamie Robinson
The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind. From the moment I saw the sign with my name held by the friendliest driver I’ve ever had at the airport in Nairobi all I have seen are smiles. Every person I have encountered has been nothing but kind and welcoming.
As women, sometimes we can be consumed with the needs of all the people right before us in our homes and communities. Yet, there is a longing in each of us to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We experience empathy and concern for others, our neighbors, both near and far.
The past month taking care of patients, teaching, and learning from my colleagues in the Accident and Emergency Department at the Georgetown Public Hospital in Guyana has been a wonderful experience, as always. I have learned a great deal, and I have also had the opportunity to teach in a variety of settings, which has been very gratifying. I never leave here not in awe of the great work these physicians do with the limited resources they have available. I also rarely leave without a memory of some patient that we were not able to help as much as I would have liked due to these limitations.
Hi Ryan Van Nostrand here in Georgetown, Guyana. This is the end of my second week and it has been an educational and enjoyable experience working in the GPHC. Over the last two weeks I have been able to gain an insight to the difficulties and similarities between medicine in the US and Guyana. It has been a pleasure to work with the doctors and staff in the Emergency Department and I have really enjoyed being able to teach and learn from the residents here.
This is now my third trip to Guyana to work at Georgetown Public hospital, fondly referred to as GPHC, in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). Each trip has been eye-opening, motivating, inspirational, at times frustrating and heart wrenching, and always immensely rewarding. I am fortunate to be the current Global Health Emergency Medicine Fellow at Vanderbilt, meaning I will spend much of my time this year working in Guyana.
I am sitting on the terrace of my hotel in Kathmandu, sipping spicy masala tea and looking out at the cityscape for the last time. Below me, the pudgy, fresh-faced toddlers of affluent Nepalis learn to swim in the crystal-clear swimming pool, a far cry from the muddy, leech-infested floodwaters of the nation’s rivers and lakes. The all-seeing eyes of the Boudhanath stupa, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of those in Tibet, gaze placidly down at me from their towering perch above Kathmandu, watching over the nation. In the distance, somewhat obscured by the dust and smog of the capital city, I can see the Himalayan foothills, their dark, untamed beauty seductive in its wildness. I think of my ten SBA students, scattered now throughout isolated villages in those very mountains, providing contraception services and prenatal care and delivering babies in remote clinics. I offer up a silent prayer for them, and for the women, children, and families they are serving.
Yesterday, the ten SBA participants, their nursing instructors, two representatives from One Heart Worldwide, and I all celebrated the final day of the program, during which the students received official certificates testifying to their new status as skilled birth attendants.

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