We’ve now finished 2 full days of work at Mulago National Hospital and what a rewarding experience it has been. Stacy spent the last two days at the Uganda Cancer Center helping to dispense medications. Today she said the clinic and hospital were so busy she felt she was really needed and was thrilled to be able to jump right in and help counsel the patients coming to the window for medications. She also ran into some cute kids and one that just clung to her leg and wouldn’t let go. Nikko, Jeff, and I worked on the wards at Mulago. They have been able to work closely with the pharmacy interns and help them learn how to use drug information resources to make recommendations about the care of their patients. Most of the interns have smart phones but many aren’t aware of the numerous free and reliable medical apps out there that can help answer questions very quickly. Not only are Stacy, Jeff, and Nikko helping to provide pharmaceutical care and train the interns, but both groups of students are learning about each other’s culture. I’ll let them tell you in later posts more about their activities and what they are learning.
So what have I been doing? I’ve spent the past 2 days rounding on the medical floors with a few different teams of physicians. I’ve leaned so much about how it is possible to make the diagnosis and determine appropriate care even without a lot of tests. I’ve learned that in the USA we probably rely too much on medical tests like fancy scans and lots of blood tests when what we really should be doing more of is listening to what the patient is telling us. But, on the other hand, certainly it would be better for Ugandan healthcare providers to be able to obtain and rely on a few more tests than they have to improve the care of patients. Yesterday and today I was able to jump right in and review the patients’ drug therapy and make recommendation about dosing and appropriate LAN tests. I also had the opportunity to do a spur of the moment lecture on the diagnosis and treatment of anemia right at the bedside of a patient who came in with this condition. I thought what I knew was common knowledge but it turned out that most of the people rounding were medical students just starting their clinical experiences and they were really eager to eat up new knowledge.
So, I don’t have any pictures from Uganda today, so I’ll close with a couple of “Harry Potter” images from the students day in London.