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Teaching the medical students

March 31, 2011

Today I will actually post a few pictures of me. It’s a rare event since, I often have to be the photographer. Usually because my Nikon D300 seems overwhelming to people, the pictures that I ask others to take of me are often out of focus or too far away to be any good. I hate to carry a smaller point and shot around, but I may have to for future photo shoots. How is it that you can come to Africa, and still be overloaded with techo gadgets–a digital SLR, a point and shoot, my US smart phone that has my surgery textbooks in electronic form, and my Safaricom cell (which acts as a pager in this system where there are no pagers)? Then you’re packing around your loupes, toilet paper (simply a must as many international travelers know), stethoscope, hand sanitizer, and a handy but heavy book called “Primary Surgery”. Fortunately, Matthews found it for me for about 2500 KSH or 30 USD. This price is far better than the $70-90 I saw on Amazon.

My best photo yet?

Last Friday was a very long day, but very productive in many ways even though we only did two cases. As you recall Friday is the day that we operate. By the US standards this would be pretty abysmal. Especially when the cases were a small epigastric hernia and an initial inguinal hernia repair in an adult.

But yet we did a lot of teaching with the medical students. I had a great time with Paul the orthopedics registrar. He is in his second of four years of his ortho residency. He is incredibly smart and dedicated. He is doing a three month rotation on general surgery as part of his training. He was the resident who took me across the river to get the photo last week. He also speaks impeccable French. So it’s a pleasure to talk to him in French.

Our pre-OR teaching

It was also fun to tag team teach the medical students about hernias. Before each case we had a pre-op Socratic teaching session. The students did pretty well. In the picture on the left you see the fourth year medical student Gertrude telling us about the anatomy of the inguinal canal. You also see Gertrude in the operative photo with Paul on the right and our scrub tech Kosgey in the middle. For some reason I find this picture to be one of my best. I’m not sure why I like it so much. I think I like the frozen moment of everyone intently focused on the initial step of the operation. The OR we use is actually this dark. It was designed this way so that video assisted surgery could be performed without having to black out the room. If you look closely, you will see however some of the things that I find humorous at MTRH. In this photo you see Kosgey handing the scalpel blade directly to the resident. Yup, that’s right the blade with no handle. That’s how we roll around here sometimes!

In any event, it was a good Friday (although this post has been in draft status for 6 days!). More posts to follow as I am in now in South Africa…hope that hooks your interest.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Steve Eisinger permalink
    March 31, 2011 11:23 am

    Thanks for keeping us posted. Continue to pray for you as you multiply your talents through teaching.

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