Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reanimation update

Yesterday, the first group of 6 medical students finished their Reanimation rotation at Kibuye hospital.  To celebrate, Stephanie and I inivited these 6 students over to our house for dinner last night.  I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed working with these students.  They are bright, hard-working, eager to learn, kind and compassionate with their patients, they all speak between 3 and 5 languages and switch back and forth with great ease, and each of them grew up in a country ravaged by civil war (something they rarely talk about).

Last night, one of the students who is actually from the D.R. Congo began talking about the teaching he has received at Kibuye and how drastically different it is from anything he had ever experienced before.  The students at Kibuye work with doctors who are patient and kind to their students and their patients.  They are doctors who are humble enough to admit when they have made a mistake and also to admit when they don't know the answer to a question.  As this student was talking I thought I sensed his voice beginning to crack a bit, and then he admitted that he gets emotional when he talks about this.  

It occured to me that with all the changes going on at this hospital with this team of American physicians, perhaps the greatest change is that of atmosphere.  This long-term team (and I hope the short-termers like us as well) are modelling for dozens of students each year what it means to be a physician who is humble and patient, and who treats his or her students and patients as human beings created in the image of God.  And these students will then graduate and go on to be leaders in their hospitals and their communities and I believe they will become the kind of doctors that they are studying under now.  Last night was a great reminder to me of why we are here. 

Five of the six students (the sixth was out of town)

I also got this new fancy stamp!  I am told that you are not a real doctor in Burundi until you have your own stamp.  Also, I could not officially graduate this group of students without this stamp.  What does one need to get ones own stamp?  About $25 and a short trip to Gitega.  No need to show any proof that you actually are a physician.  Next week I am thinking of becoming a neurosurgeon!

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