Length: 4 weeks
The Expedition I choose: Western Himalayas – although there are options to do other countries such as Ghana
The Team: We were with 30 other medical students and PA students, four residents and two supervising physician who had experience in travel and tropical medicine. These were broken up unto teams for the mobile clinics.
Through that organization, there only the one expedition that fit my elective block. So I was limited in that way. There is other organizations that I think are active in ghana, and other areas, but that one fit the time that I could do it.
A screenshot of a sample list of different expeditions. Maggie’s was in the Himalayas.
Actually in my year, 3 of us from my class did an elective there, so it was really nice to have the group of us.
It was a matter of reaching out to those who had gone previously and other students that were going with us, from the UK and from the United States.
Packing was challenging, we had one back pack for the whole month.
We had to be very strategic when it came to clothing – in terms of quantity and types of clothing we were bringing.
We also had to bring medical supplies over – so we had to budget for that in our backpacks.
It was quite minimalist living for that month.
We brought texts that we could use and review together – a lot of tropical medicine textbooks which I would not have had otherwise, but they were very useful.
We were doing mobile clinics in the Himalayas. So we actually trekked in between our clinic days. It would be 1-2 days of trekking and then we would setup mobile clinics with four different tents, setup all of our equipment. Then people of the village would come to that area because they knew we were there.
“These patients only receive care once a year. So in 365 days we are the only medical services that go through because of mountain access it is very difficult for them to get to the hospital.” – Maggie, McMaster PA Grad
Photos of patient care above from Himalayan Health
Experience during the Rotation
A lot of preventative medicine, education, screening, well-child exams, and a lot of treating common conditions. There were the eyes, oral dental abscesses, those types of things.
We were quite limited in the medications that we had with us. There were a lot of ethical decisions as well.