Over the weekend we traveled to Rishikesh. I really enjoyed the views and we were able to visit the Ashram where The Beatles wrote many of their songs! I attached a picture of the bridge you cross to enter the city. Truly amazing at how many people, motorcycles, and cows fit on one bridge.
Yesterday we arrived in Mussoorie, a hill station of the Himalayas about 6000 feet above sea level. It offers some truly breathtaking views. One thing I didn’t consider, though, is how cold it would be up here. Since India does not have centralized heat and the sun doesn’t shine in the hospital well, the building is extremely cold. They have small heaters in every room but all the patients waiting in the halls are bundled in their winter best.
Landour Community Hospital is our rotation site for the week. It is one of three public hospitals in this area. Meredith and I are staying in a room above the hospital. It was originally built when the British possessed this area prior to India becoming a county. At that time, it was owned by Western Missionaries. My preceptor shared that a common misconception is that they still receive funding from these missionaries. They do not get any from the west or from the Indian government. All the funding is generated by the cost of healthcare provided here. If a new machine is needed, they will host a fundraiser. The hospital still holds many of its traditional roots and maintains its Christian faith. Each morning they hold a church service in the chapel before beginning morning rounds. The main services provided include and Emergency Department, an outpatient clinic (which includes orthopedics and general medicine), surgery, general male and female inpatient wards, and an ICU. They also have several doctors that visit once a month and hold clinics such as dermatology.
We begin rounds in the morning with the lead physician, several newly graduated physicians (since India doesn’t have a structured residency system), and a husband and wife from the states who are in the medical field. They are here to learn Hindi but participate in rounds to help share knowledge. The busiest time of day here is around 11am because many of the patients travel hours to get here and must travel back before it gets dark.
One thing I learned about myself this week is that I don’t do very well with rapid change. We had just begun to feel at home within our homestay in Dehradun and then it was time to move to Mussoorie. While I love having the opportunity to explore more of what this country has to offer, it has definitely given me some anxiety. With adapting to new environments. Pictures of my sweet niece and pups always makes it better!
Finally, we found out the greatest news on Monday! Meredith and I both matched to a residency! Now we anxiously await our placement results that come Friday.