March 4th, 2017 by Ashley Sweeney
The drive back to Guwahati went smoothly. I caught my flight to Delhi and headed back to the YWCA for the night. My flight home was not until 9pm the next evening so one of the doctor’s sister-in-law took me around Delhi and we did some shopping. After cramming everything into my suitcases, I headed to the airport. There were no issues with any of my flights and I made it home safely after way too many hours of travelling.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to rotate with the physicians at BCH. While there, I saw patients with many medical conditions that I have not had the chance to see before and they taught me a lot.
I was also impressed by how cost-conscious the doctors were. It was not to a point that they were stingy or giving poor patient care but instead they were using sound clinical judgment to limit unnecessary tests wherever possible. I can’t honestly say I know how much the basic labs we get on hospitalized patients every day cost or how much a CT scan runs or how much an acute care visit to the PCP is; but they knew exactly how much that cost a patient. They also knew that running up these costs would keep the patient and family from eating or paying rent that month. This is something I think is important for physicians in the US to be aware of – especially with elders or families who live on a fixed income each month – because not infrequently we may be unaware of the true cost of healthcare to our patients.