Choosing to do a medical elective in a new place, that being Kenya, was a daunting decision but with the warmth and hospitality of the medics abroad team, the choice was actually very simple. I don’t think could have even dreamt of doing such an elective without them. They have such an amazing plan that it makes adapting to this new environment in Malindi, Kenya so easy. The time that the team has put into organising this and making sure everything runs smoothly has impressed me. Being in Malindi, Kenya, a tropical developing country, I have been exposed to a wider variety of medical conditions than I would normally see in Ireland. I’ve seen the conditions that you really only hear about and see in textbooks when you study in a developed county. I’ve seen a wide range of HIV/AIDS patients, Kaposi sarcoma, Hepatitis B, Malaria and so many more conditions. in addition, many of these patients tend to present to the hospital later than I would usually see in Dublin, so I am seeing many cases of advanced conditions as well as their complications. In the Malindi Sub-County Hospital, the doctors, nurses, students, and patients are all friendly. The doctors are very welcoming, making me feel a part of their team. They never fail to answer any of my questions and are very good teachers. Even in theatre, the surgeons make you feel included, making sure you have a good clear view of the surgical field. However, being in this hospital, I realised how many small things I’d take for granted. Even the simplest of things like gloves and alcohol hand gel, they have limited of. But, the doctors and nurses try to make do with the resources that they have. Apart from hospital duties, the medics abroad team has also planned so many activities. They didn’t just bring me here to be in the hospital. They made sure that I had adequate opportunities to explore this new country. What’s going to Kenya without going on a Safari? The team organised with a safari tour and it was an experience and a half. And being in a coastal town, so many water sports and activities to indulge in on the weekends. The locals greet me with a friendly “Jambo” every day and it honestly makes my day each time. And not to forget Dr. Helen, she has honestly been such a wonderful mentor and friend on this journey here and I thank her and the rest of team for allowing to have such an amazing, fulfilling opportunity. I truly recommend diving into a medics abroad elective package. It is an adventure I know I will never forget.
Being part of medics abroad and getting a chance to do an elective in Kenya was one of the best experiences in my life, I have no words to describe what I feel about this whole trip! It was truly beyond what I have expected. I learnt so many new things in medicine and actually got the chance to practice it on spot with the team of helpful doctors. I have gained so much knowledge about how is it like to work in hospitals and I felt so satisfied as a medical student helping patients and applying my knowledge in the real world. I have also met many people during my trip who were very nice and kind which expanded my social circle. This experience definitely helped me gain new skills not only in medicine but also life in general, it gave me the motivation to study and work harder so that I can become one of the most successful doctors in the world and get a chance to help people all over the world especially the underprivileged ones. If I had a chance to do this all over again, I would do it in a blink of an eye.
Do you love meeting new people and exploring a different culture? Are you able to experience a unique life and step out of your comfort zone? My answer was yes, so I decided to apply for a summer clinical elective in Kenya with Medics Abroad. Why Medics Abroad? The program gives a precise description of what the students will experience. Immediately after I applied, the COO Dr. Zidon, arranged a Skype call in which she explained and provided all the information we need for our travel.I felt really safe and excited as everything was clear. On 28/07/18 as I reached Nairobi, Dr. Zidon picked me up from the airport. I can’t emphasize how relieved I felt. Clinical experience : I did a 2-weeks of clinical placement in Obs/Gyn and General Surgery. The medical team members were very welcoming and always willing to teach. Being part of the team, I was able to take histories and examine patients on the ward. Furthermore, during my elective, I was given the opportunity to attend several caesarian sections and surgeries such as tuboplasty, intestinal obstruction, pleural effusion drainage, and excisional biopsy. What I learned (What was different in Kenya compared to Ireland): 1) The resources were limited so doctors should always put into account what is the best available treatment. 2) During surgeries, a small number of surgeons were involved, giving us (the students) a better opportunity to participate and observe the case in more detail.