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Vivekananda Memorial Hospital – Morgan Gilani, MD

Written by Morgan Gilani, MD PGY2 at San Francisco Internal Medicine on a Global Health rotation in Sargur, India with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement.

Gratitude.  My time working with the Swami Vivekananada Youth Movement (SVYM) this spring has been an integral part of my residency training. I joined a group from Kaiser Woodland Hills which included mostly family practice doctors, some in training, a rheumatologist, a pre-PA student, and an attorney. We were greeted at the airport in Bangalore and quickly whisked off to Mysore, currently ranked the cleanest city in India on a very hot and humid Sunday morning at 4 AM. Our visit in Mysore was brief and only a layover on our journey farther south to Sargur.  However, during our brief day and a half, we were very graciously introduced to SVYM, its main campus, and had the honor of meeting with two of the doctors who had founded the NGO about 30 years ago including Dr. Balasurbramaniam, or as he shortens- Dr. Balu. What started as a 9 bed hospital on the forest’s edge outside of Sargur has grown into a 90 bed hospital with subspecialty care. The populations served includes rural and 5 different tribal communities which have been displaced from the forest, now two National Reserves. In their longitudinal involvement and growth over the past 30 years in working with these communities it was interesting to

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Daet, Philippines – Bay Area Surgical Mission – Stephanie Cizek, MD

Written by Stephanie Cizek, MD, PGY3 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco OB/GYN Residency Program on a Global Health rotation with Bay Area Surgical Mission in Daet, Philippines.

Mary has fibroids.  Common, benign tumors on the uterus, which for her have grown disproportionately large, causing abdominal pain and heavy bleeding with her periods.  She has lost so much blood that she is chronically anemic, and her fibroids have grown so large on her tiny frame that she appears 20 weeks pregnant.  She has had surgery for this problem before — 15 years ago, a group of surgeons on a surgical mission trip landed near Mary’s hometown in the Philippines for a week to provide free surgery.  She has a large 15cm scar across her abdomen, but the surgery

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Bay Area Surgical Mission – Brian Song, MD

Written by Brian Song, MD, PGY4 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Otolaryngology Residency Program on a Global Health rotation with Bay Area Surgical Mission in Daet, Philippines.

I was anxious and excited leading up to our medical mission trip. We had a diverse team from across the United States and the two other otolaryngologists I was scheduled to work with were from New Mexico and mere acquaintances. Coordination was challenging requiring lots of emailing and phone calls. Yet, we had experienced leadership within a well-established organization who ensured the logistics proceeded without issue.

The flight to the Philippines was 14 hours spanning 7000 miles. In this modern age, flights anywhere are ubiquitous with standard amenities and service. The moment we stepped on that plane, we could have been traveling anywhere. Therefore, the reality of our upcoming adventure did not come to fruition until we arrived. The Philippines is

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Global Health Reflection – Aldene Zeno, MD

Written by Aldene Zeno, MD, PGY4 at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program on a Global Health rotation with Bay Area Surgical Mission in Daet, Philippines.

The Bay Area Surgical Mission (BASM) has provided surgical services to patients in the Philippines for over 16 years. It is based at the Camarines Norte Provincial Hospital in Daet, Philippines. The BASM team members were skillful yet humble and loads of fun. We stayed in this amazing hotel owned by the mother of one of the trip leaders. The hotel certainly lived up to its name, “Zenaida’s Palace;” the daily breakfasts, refreshing swimming pool, proximity to the ocean, and evening karaoke were just a few of the things that made me feel like global health team-royalty.

In our first full clinic day and in the times that we saw patients in between cases, our gynecology team acquired a busy service. Most patients were referred to our clinic, and some travelled as far

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My Rotation to Project Angkor

Written by Chuong Dang, MD PGY3 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Pediatrics Residency Program on a Global Health rotation with Project Angkor in Cambodia.

We departed from San Francisco Airport on 12/29 early morning, transit flight in Taipei and arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia on 12/30. We picked up our supply boxes (about 30-40), applied for expedite visa at the custom then were on our way to the hotel via buses. It was free time the first evening in Phnom Penh; we went to the Russian Market to buy some personal goods in preparation for the trip. It was a surprise to me that the U.S. dollar is accepted almost everywhere we traveled to in Cambodia.

The second day, the program organized a field trip to the infamous Killing Field, where the old Khmer Rouge regime executed and massacred  tens of thousands of people during 1976-1979 coup. This place taught us to

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Name, Insurance, and Neighborhood – Tessa Stecker, MD

Written by Tessa Stecker, MD Fellow with Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Community Medicine and Global Health while on rotation with Cachamsi in Riobamba, Ecuador in October 2015.

What is your name? Do you have insurance? What is your neighborhood? These three questions begin every clinical encounter in Riobamba.

The Ecuadorean health system has undergone an immense and impressive transformation over the last 15 years. Ecuador has become one of the leading countries in the region (and in the world) regarding healthcare efficiency spending (surpassing the U.S. by at least 30 spots on the world rank list). One of the reasons for this success is the strict adherence to patient centered medical homes. Each Ecuadorean is assigned a doctor/clinic based on his/her address and is expected to visit this clinic first except for in an emergency.

The clinic I’m assigned to this week reminds me of

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July 2015 Kenya Journal – Brian Cogburn, MD

Written by Brian Cogburn, MD PGY3 at the Kaiser Permanente Internal Medicine Residency Program, San Francisco while on Global Health rotation with The Matibabu Foundation in Ugenya, Kenya in July 2015.

13/07/2015: Kaloleni (eastern Kenya, close to the Indian Ocean) tour with Felix
Landscape: picturesque tropical rolling hills with coconut palm trees; agriculture seemed to consist of cassava, palm trees (for oil and to make alcohol) and maze. Villages were very spaced out… only passed by 1 car while being on the road for hours. Most people traveled by motorbike (without helmets), cycle or foot.
Cultural perceptions: very poor, district contained mainly 2 tribes, 60% Christian to 40% Muslim. Primarily women out in the field doing labor, men congregating in town center and seemed to be socializing and drinking alcohol. Felix said there is a high

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