Julie Richards

New York University

Kenya Obs&Gyn Elective

I’ve always wanted to go to Kenya and when I found out I could do my elective there I just knew I had to. The Elective International staff was very helpful when it came to planning out my elective. I found this a huge relief being on the other side of the planet knowing when I got there everything would be taken care of.  The airport at Kenya was kind of overwhelming so I was glad to see this guy in an Elective International shirt waving at me and smiling. Juma is a great guy and he was more than helpful getting me oriented. Kenya is so different that I’m sure my culture shock was pretty obvious.

Once we got to the house though and I could relax and meet the other students I felt a lot better.

 

At the coast general hospital it was immediately obvious I was going to be doing a lot of things I wouldn’t otherwise get to do as a second-year. And sure enough, after like two hours I performed successful cannulation! Some days were pretty much full-on and challenging. Others were less busy and I would do ward rounds. I spent a fair amount of time in the maternal and newborn wards which led to me seriously considering obs & gyn as my focus. I also did theater-days where I went in and observed the consultants. I’m so impressed by what doctors here are able to do with limited resources. It’s definitely been a lesson to me to work with them and try to be creative in my solutions.

I will be taking these experiences back with me to the States where I aim to put what I’ve learned into practice and tell my friends about how different our health care is.