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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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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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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

madeline

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Cacha Medical Spanish Institute – Brittany Kausen, MD

Written by Brittany Kausen, MD, PGY2 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco OB/GYN Residency Program while on Global Health rotation with Cacha Medical Spanish Institute (CACHAMSI) in Riobamba, Ecuador from April-May 2016.

My first two days were spent in the Ob unit that carries all postpartum (12 cs beds, 12 vag delivery beds), antepartum (alto riesgo 6 beds), and early laboring patients. There are also separate rooms for pre-eclamptic patients that have big black curtains to make them dark with little stimulation – so as not to piss off the pre-eclampsia. Days start with table rounds at 7am followed by walking around seeing patients with the whole team which is a small army. There are approximately 6 interns, 2 resident doctors, one junior attending and Dr. Lino who is the chief. Dr. Lino quizzes everyone — on everything. From pre-eclampsia to doses of antibiotics to units on lab values. The level of training is very different here; interns are more like medical students on their first year of clinical rotations and the residents are more like interns. As a second year resident from the US, my depth of knowledge is probably greater than theirs especially on topics like pre-eclampsia, but having to answer questions in Spanish is a whole new challenge. My first day he quizzed me all about pre-eclampsia – questions I actually knew – but translating it into Spanish was difficult. I somehow got through

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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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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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