The Week I Rode An Elephant

February 22nd, 2017 by Ashley Sweeney

Orthopedics showed me more degloving injuries than I have ever seen in the rest of my training. Unfortunately many of them involved the patient’s hand which can be a devastating injury as it keeps them from working for a long time. The clinic was absolutely packed every day and all the patients seemed to love Dr. A.


On Saturday night, all the doctors got together for dinner and game night. My contribution was a stir-fry. We played things like charades and twenty questions. It was a lot of fun. Very early the next morning (I’m talking 4am early) one of the junior doctors and her friend and I left to go to Kaziranga National Park where we could ride an elephant in order to see the one-horned rhinocersus (which is a protected species). That was an unique experience!


The next two days I was on the medicine teams. The wards were always full and all the patients had family members with them. The doctors I worked with were conscious of how much every test and image they ordered cost and were particular about only ordering what was absolutely necessary in order to avoid undue financial burden for the patients. There was a patient with uremic encephalopathy whose case we discussed extensively to figure out what to do next as the patient’s family could not afford to move to a higher level of care.