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First Impressions

Posted by Lisa Ryujin, MD (a third year Ob/Gyn resident from Kaiser Permanente Oakland serving a global health elective at Benh Vien Hung Vuong Maternity hospital in Vietnam). 

The perfect harmony of traffic…

My first day at Benh Vien Hung Vuong Maternity hospital in Saigon, Vietnam. I have to say that it’s been an amazing couple of days. I flew in on Saturday at 1 am, and that day toured around the city to get familiarized with the areas near the hospital. Saigon traffic is organized chaos. It is beautiful in so many ways to watch the motorbikes dance in and out of the streets in perfect harmony. Given my awe for the motorbikes, I had to use it as my means for transportation to and from work!

Hung Vuong maternity ward is much bigger than I’m used to, 8 latent (early) labor beds, 18 delivery beds, no family allowed in the birthing areas. I even had an opportunity to go to the operating room, which are located on another floor, they have the capability (and sometimes do…) run 8 operating rooms at one time for cesarean deliveries. Midwives manage the labor course, doctors deliver the babies. There are different wards depending on your insurance, I’m floating between them all. With that many deliveries, there is no time to push with patients (which I really enjoy at Kaiser Oakland), and it feels that the patient gives birth and are immediately replaced with another laboring patient. They move them in and out of the delivery beds like magic. I feel like I’m always running…and yet I turn and watch the other doctors stroll beside me.

 I’m arranging a teaching schedule so that I can work with the medical students on standard obstetric and gynecology care. It will be fun to have a class and to practice (or learn) my Vietnamese!

 It’s been a crazy couple of days, and I have a lot to learn about practicing in such a busy environment, but at the end, I hope that I’ll just marvel at the miracle of being born.

The Hospital
Hospital waiting area
Delivery bed
Baby warmer

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi there! Im a second year obs/gynae resident from Australia travelling to Vietnam in late October to spend 6 weeks at the same hospital volunteering. Could you spare some time to email me tips on where to stay, etc.. Kind Regards, Steph

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