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Da Nang Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Hospital – Barbara Adams, DPM

Written by Barbara Adams, DPM, PGY-3 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Podiatric Surgery Program while on Global Health rotation at Da Nang Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Hospital in Da Nang, Vietnam in May-June 2017.

What a wonderful week in Da Nang, Vietnam! This foot/ankle-focused surgical trip was a unique combination of foreign exploration, exposure to rare pathology, and teamwork in the OR. I can’t wait to visit Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital again in the future!

Exploring Da Nang, Vietnam

I had two weekends and several evenings to explore Da Nang and the surrounding area.  Some highlights were the

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Hospital de la Familia – Tuong Van Nguyen, MD

Written by Tuong Van Nguyen, MD, PGY-3 at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at Hospital de la Familia in Nuevo Progreso, Guatemala in April-May 2017.

It began with a 6-hour red-eye flight to Guatemala City and then a 5-hour bus ride to the small town of Nuevo Progreso. You would see small shacks lined up along the road that were homes for families of five or more, amongst the luscious jungle spotted with mounds of litter. I thought that traveling abroad a few times, including medical mission trips to similar areas such as Nicaragua would make me acquainted to the setting, yet it ceases to give me a new perspective each time; a new experience, a new family, a new community and never ending knowledge. It revives the awareness and appreciation for life. But it also forces

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Cacha Medical Spanish Institute – Afton Chavez, MD

Written by Afton Chavez, MD, PGY-1 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Internal Medicine Program while on Global Health rotation at Cacha Medical Spanish Institute in Riobamba, Ecuador in March 2017.

I highly recommend this global health elective.  In just a two-week period (8 days of Spanish classes), my medical Spanish improved significantly.  The teachers at the institute are very professional and are excellent at teaching Spanish.  My professor had a degree in Linguistics and was incredibly

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Labor and Delivery, Traditional Birth Attendant Training, and Women’s Health – Sarah Simmons, MD

Written by Sarah Simmons, MD, PGY-2 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at Funbichoco/Hospital San Francisco de Asis, E.S.E., in Quibdo, Choco, Colombia in January-February 2017.

I had been to Colombia before, but under much different circumstances as a tourist visiting the country’s largest tourist attractions of Bogota and Cartagena. This time I flew into Quibdo, a small city of 100,000 inhabitants that many Colombians have never been to, let alone foreigners.

Quibdo is humid, densely packed, surrounded by thick rainforests, and located near the Pacific Coast. It is separated from more major cities by muddy, unpaved roads and a network of rivers. Quibdo is located in the poorest state of Colombia (Choco) and is inhabited largely by Afro-Caribbeans, although there is a minority indigenous population who live on the city’s outskirts and neighboring villages reachable by boat.

Our first week was spent working shifts on Labor and Delivery at San Francisco Hospital working side by side with local Family Medicine and OB/GYN physicians delivering babies, triaging consults, and rounding on antepartum patients. Particularly unique cases included

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Hospital de la Familia – Maria Martin, MD

Written by Maria Martin, MD, PGY-4 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at Hospital de la Familia in Nuevo Progreso, Guatemala in March-April 2017.

My trip to Nuevo Progreso in Guatemala with Hospital de la Familia was amazing! I could not have asked for a more inspirational and fulfilling global health experience. The team of doctors, nurses, translators and staff was exemplary. Everyone worked cohesively to evaluate numerous patients in clinic and perform >200 surgeries during our 6 day surgical mission. The surgical mission included Ophthlamalogy, General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, ENT and Gynecology.

Each day started with over 200

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Hospital de la Familia – Steven Micucci, MD

Written by Steven Micucci, MD, PGY-2 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Otolaryngology Program while on Global Health rotation at Hospital de la Familia in Nuevo Progreso, Guatemala in March-April 2017.

The moment we stepped off the bus at Hospital de la Familia, I knew that I would have an experience that I would treasure forever. The hospital was in a small town, tucked within the mountains of Guatemala, and was seemingly as remote a place you could find in Central America. As the bus approached, the townspeople set off fireworks and

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Cacha Medical Spanish Institute – Eric Bautista, MD

Written by Eric Bautista, MD, PGY-3 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Internal Medicine Program while on Global Health rotation at Cachamsi in Riobamba, Ecuador in March 2017.

Global Health Background and Departing for Ecuador

I took off for Ecuador after my last night shift in residency. I left one of the most resource-rich and connected systems in the world and was off to experience medicine with much more limited resources. Being in a “developing country” is not new to me; my parents emigrated from the Philippines a year before I was born and I had spent some time back in the Philippines. I had also spent a summer visiting HIV organizations in India during college to investigate the impact of discriminatory laws against sexual minorities on the HIV epidemic there. Just this past year, I took a trip to visit my relatives in the northern tip of the Philippines. About a full day drive from Manila, it is a poor region of the Philippines that is not on the typical tropical tourist circuit. Having been to the Philippines multiple times in the past, I never recalled obesity as something I commonly encountered in trips in the past. This time was different. My family had asked many medical questions knowing that I was doctor: not about exotic tropical diseases, but about hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and arthritis. To me, “global health” for my family in the Philippines looked a lot like my practice in Kaiser. I was heading to Ecuador reflecting on this.

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Kapenguria District Hospital – Chemtai Mungo, MD

Written by Chemtai Mungo, MD, PGY-3 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at the Kapenguria District Hospital in Kapenguria, Kenya in December 2016.

I spent my 3rd year rotation at Kapenguria District Hospital (KDH), in Western Kenya. Kapenguria is a small town of approximately 300,000 people, located in West Pokot District, in Western Kenya. The District hospital in Kapenguria is a regional referral hospital serving this population, as well as the surrounding region. The West Pokot District of Western Kenya is a rural, marginalized area of Kenya, where the population faces a heavy burden of maternal and neonatal mortality due to lack of timely access to medical care, inadequate numbers of providers, as well as the burden of the HIV/AIDS. Maternal mortality and morbidity are exacerbated by the practice of female genital cutting, which women in

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Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro – Madeline Hellendag, MD

Written by Madeline Hellendag, MD, PGY-2 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro in Antigua, Guatemala in October 2016.

As the only Spanish-speaking physician on the gynecology team, I had the incredibly special job of talking to each patient’s family member(s) after the surgery was finished. At the end of each case, I would peek my head outside of the operating room hallway and call out “Familia de [patient’s first name]”. If it was one of the first cases of the day, I would be calling out to a large crowd of people made up of all of that day’s patients and their families. If it was the last case of the day, there would be just a couple of people left who had been waiting all day for their turn. I was able to give these family members the wonderful news that their loved one’s surgery had gone very well and that the surgery would likely make her feel much better. Without exception, the family members would praise me, pray for me, and thank me profusely. I felt undeserving of their gratitude, but also

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