Wright State University 2015

Medical, Nepal Pokhara

My medical school has a very strong global health program. After having the opportunity to travel other places throughout the Americas and Europe, I knew I wanted to do one last medical trip abroad before graduating. My main focus was finding somewhere completely different from where I have travelled in the past and true to their culture.

I will never forget the first time seeing the hospital, a tall red brick building set into the mountain with, on a clear day, breathtaking snowcapped mountains in the background.

After much deliberation, internet searching and speaking with friends, I chose Work the world. I had heard wonderful stories from prior students who travelled to Nepal through the same program and how they enjoyed life in the slightly smaller city of Pokhara.

The initial arrival in Kathmandu was an experience in itself. Thanks to the help of kind locals. I walked to the domestic terminal and began my journey to Pokhara. The Work the World staffs were amazing from the moment we arrived. The Assistant Program Manager was waiting in the airport and easily got us in the house.

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We received a great orientation of the house and an amazing dinner courtesy to Deepak. The following day was a whirlwind of touring the local areas, market and meeting our supervisors at hospital. I really appreciated having a warm shower, great dinner and comfy bed waiting for me at the house that night.

The majority of my time was working in the hospital. The hour journey on the bus to get there each morning allowed us insight into the local culture with great views of the city. I will never forget the first time seeing the hospital, a tall red brick building set into the mountain with, on a clear day, breathtaking snowcapped mountains in the background.

 

My time was split between the general Paediatrics ward, NICU, PICU and OB/GYN. While it was often difficult to understand the rounds, being predominantly in Nepali language. It gave me an opportunity to improve my differential diagnoses skills. After rounds, I would go back through patient charts to determine final diagnoses and see how they were being treated here compared to back home.

We also have several additional opportunities outside the hospital to participate in local education and visit the community. One afternoon, we visited a local school and taught the children about importance of exercise and healthy eating. We also met brothers with Muscular Dystrophy and learned about their lives and struggles prior to moving in with their foster family in Pokhara.

We ended up our adventures watching out the sunrise from Top of the Sarangkot and paragliding back down with spectacular views

Even with their move to the big city, we can see the difficulty they have even trying to go out of the house. No schools would accept them due to their disability, so instead they spend their day at local orphanage.

Aside from the visit to hospital and children, there is a ton of stuff to do locally and within a few hours drive. Twice a day, the language teacher comes to the house and gives us language lessons with useful words and phrases as well as cultural nuances. We took the opportunity to row on both the lakes, hike to peace pagoda, visit caves and had an elephant safari and jungle walk throughout Chitwan National Park.

 

We ended up our adventures watching out the sunrise from Top of the Sarangkot and paragliding back down with spectacular views. An experience amongst many that can never be forgotten.

Overall, time in Pokhara has passed so quickly. There are so many to see and to do that just cannot be done in 4 weeks. This has been an experience unlike any other I have had in the past. I am excited to return home to my friends and family and show them the culture of a small country they knew nothing about prior to my decision to travel.

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