I’m sitting after dark on a patio, drinking a her, and listening to the pitter patter of rain on the patio umbrella. It seems a good a time as any to reflect on the past week, so here’s a small collection of thoughts that I’ve recorded in my notebook.

Thought one: Exams? Exams!!

I watched two of the final-year students write an exam in our meeting room, which happens to be basically a part of the ward where they’ve put a table–the old meeting room is under construction, I believe. They didn’t seem fazed by the smell of urine wafting out of the nearby bathroom, nor the sounds of women in labour from across the hall. It’s certainly a much different exam-writing experience than in Canada, and I don’t envy them.

Thought two: An exchange of electives

It’s so easy (relatively soaking) for me to traipse across the world, land in Rwanda, and learn some medicine. It’s much, much harder for the Rwandan students to do the same in Canada. Beyond the substantial financial barriers, it’s apparently quite difficult to get a Canadian visa. I think that students in Rwanda could benefit from easier access to medical electives in Canada (and I think that Canadian students could benefit from taking advantage of their existing global health opportunities).

Thought three: A datum by any other name would smell as sweet

I’ve found a very small niche here, that has helped me to feel more like I belong: data analysis. I’ve managed to get involved with a research project, which had been a great outlet for me considering how difficult patient interactions are with the language barrier. I’ve also helped out with another project (basically trouble-shooting SPSS), and just today had another resident set up a meeting to discuss his research tomorrow. It feels good to be useful.

Speaking of which, I should probably write about my experience doing epidemiology in R, remotely, with a phone and an iPad. (Short version: it’s painful, but there are lesser degree of pain.)

Published on 08 December 2014 and tagged as
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