Hey guys! So I have a few updates for you—
Since the last blog I posted, we finished up our week in Mussoorie. The week was great and beautiful, but it was also filled with some challenges. Both Lindsey and I got pretty sick at different points throughout the week, but thankfully we are both recovered and back to good health! Illnesses aside, the week was filled with hiking, gorgeous mountain views of the Himalayas, and lots of learning.
While I was rotating with the orthopedic surgeon, we saw a patient who had a fracture in her foot because a Buffalo stepped on it! Additionally, we saw femoral and humeral fractures, and a child who was presenting with delayed milestones due to the effects of kernicterus as an infant. For all of these cases, the hospital was able to offer X-rays, but patients would have to travel to Dehradun to obtain a CT or MRI.
Starting at 9 am, there were general medicine rounds led by the FM doctor. We saw cases involving asthma exacerbation, unstable and stable angina, pneumonia, and medication-induced hypotension. The attending also told us about the prevalence of lung diseases in India, and the health outcomes from that. She informed us that many people cook with a wood fire in their house of close quarters instead of using gas. The wood is much less expensive and easier to carry for those traveling from distant areas, and this potent and repeated exposure causes many lung issues for people. Additionally, many patients surrounding a state called Punjab develop lung fibrosis and different types of interstitial lung diseases due to the high amount of smoke and pollution.
I also had the opportunity to learn about the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, PNDT. PNDT identifies sex determination of an unborn fetus as a heinous and punishable crime in India. This act came into place due to the high prevalence of pregnancies being prematurely aborted after patients were informed the gender of their child. For some, bearing a male child as a potential family heir is highly desirable and if a patient is told she is pregnant with a female, they may decide to prematurely abort the pregnancy. The Indian government strictly prohibits healthcare providers from revealing the sex of a baby to patients.
Also, we learned about a program called Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) for Tuberculosis treatment in India. DOTS is the internationally recommended strategy for TB control. Tuberculosis has been a huge health issue for many people in India. The general surgeon explained some of the great changes the program has made in the spread of TB in India, but also told us how the program has had to expand its mission to help control the increase in multi-drug resistant strains of TB.
In addition to rotating at the hospital, we were able to spend some time exploring a part of Mussoorie called Landour. Landour was beautiful (how many times have I used that word since I’ve been in India??) and had great cafes like Landour Bakehouse and Cafe Ivy. These cafes were absolutely DELICIOUS and had spectacular views of the Himalayas….I will never forget the vastness and beauty of those mountains. We walked uphill quite a bit and found ourselves out of breath with the high altitude and change of scenery, but we loved every minute of it.
….also some news for y’all from this week. Both Lindsey and I matched into residency training programs to become physicians! Lindsey will be entering a Family Medicine program in Charlotte, North Carolina and I will be in a Pediatrics program in Akron, Ohio at Akron Children’s Hospital. We are so excited and cannot believe this is actually happening. It doesn’t seem real that just two years ago we were sitting together studying the anatomy of the head and neck, and now we are about to be doctors. This life can be so amazing. Until next time!