Friday, 13 June 2014

Home Visits & Hospital Rotations.

On day two we attended a meeting at a private hospital -- it was much like what you would expect from most American hospitals, but it was strikingly different from Victoria. The dean of the medical school was there and he talked about the status of health care and physicians in South Africa – which was pretty cool. They only have about 8 medical school while we have about 150 at home.

Later that day, I got to go on home visit with Sister Pitout (a nurse). As a part of the palliative care program, where terminally ill patients live out their time at home. The nurse brought them medicine and equipment to make caregiving easier for the families. We visited some of the worse neighborhoods in Cape Town. It was humbling to see, as it was strikingly similar to what I have experienced from Jamaica. We visited three different families and also saw different sides to the average Capetownian. 

The first patient lived in a home whose rent was about R300 a month (about $30 US dollars), which can be considered quite expensive, when most of the population is unemployed in South Africa. These patients suffered from mild dimension, pancreatic cancer, and a variety of chronic illnesses. 

Some of the neighborhoods We Visited


On day three, I followed a medical team as they did their rounds in the wards. Each team has an attending physician, a registrar (medical fellow), an intern, and a last year medical student. The doctor I was with today really emphasized that medicine is about understanding the community that you’re serving and thinking logically, "what exactly is going on in their life? What is their day-to-day life?"

Since most physicians in South Africa come from more wealthy families, he expressed that medicine is not just about text books and studying but it is about serving the community and developing social skills in order to communicate with your patients.
I really feel that I am getting a really good experience about what medicine is really about. This is definitely something I would have not been able to see at home.

On the social side,  Cape Town has also been a lot of fun as well. I have gone to a few restaurants, the mall, and the waterfront. Today, the connect 1-2-3 participants went to a local wine bar and met up with everybody. Although I ended up leaving around 9 because I was tired and had to get up for work at 6am the next day.

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