Haiti: January 2017
I always knew I wanted to incorporate global health into my career as a physician. I waited until my 3rd year of residency because I wanted to have enough experience to be able to effectively teach others.
I was so happy to learn about Hands up for Haiti because it had programs that were perfect for my vision of being part of a project that was sustainable. The main purpose of the trip was to conduct a LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) training and add to an already existing See and Treat Program for Cervical Cancer that was started by one of my senior residents that graduated last year.
Prior to our arrival, those patients had no other options except a hysterectomy so the physicians were very happy when we told them we were organizing this training. Most of the work happened months before the trip because we had to get all of the equipment needed for the training and also take enough equipment to last at least one year after the training so the work continues after we were gone. By training other physicians, it gives them the tools to treat many patients and also to train others after we are gone.
Thinking back on the trip, I am so humbled and inspired that I got to meet so many amazing people. The physicians there have such limited resources and they try their best to give quality patient care. They are so invested in their patients and they are always looking for new ways to help and improve medical practice. I also learned how to think in a different system because as pap smears are not readily available, the screening and treatment options are so different from how things are done in the United States. I saw this opportunity as a stepping stone to start my journey with global health and I hope to return to Haiti and get involved in other projects many times during my career and I am so grateful that the Ben Josephson Fund made this possible for me on my limited budget as a resident. Thank you.