Soon, I’ll be going back to Haiti. But my mission will be very different. I will be going to Cap Haitien, teaching the medical students of Haiti emergency care. I put together lectures on heart attacks, strokes, and abdominal trauma. I will be working in the ER, however I will be an “extra” – as they have now fully staffed their ER with their own people. I will be doing bedside teaching, didactic teaching, and setting up their medical education. One thing that is very different in Haiti is that once you graduate from medical school, you are a practicing physician. There is no residency for primary care physicians or emergency physicians, unlike here in the US where we will do 3-5 years of residency prior to practicing on our own. This makes clinical teaching extremely important. I am excited to go!
But although I’m giving my time to Haiti, there’s one thing that has to be mentioned. I love going there. The feeling I get when I’m there is so liberating. My perspective of the emergency care I give, the research I do, my parenting skills, and even the husband that I am improves dramatically. I get a global perspective, but I also realize how similar we all are. Why people come to the ER? What the most common complaint is? – pain. These things that I learn, and re-learn every time I go back, truly do make me happy, and for the most part, a better person and physician.