What Is The Single Most Useful Language?

September 15th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Cross-Cultural Healthcare Pearls|


Language is powerful. Beyond its direct usefulness for communication, language also conveys one’s culture, social status, and history. Acquiring language as a child is an almost thoughtless, painless process. I continue to marvel over how my father never addressed me in Greek. While Greek is not highly useful outside of that tiny nation homeland, other languages are extremely serviceable. Which one is the single most useful?


One might be inclined to simply look at the numbers illustrated in this image, suggesting that Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, or Russian would be favored. A more practical position would be based upon what language is most used in one’s day-to-day life. While Hindi, for example, is one of the most numerically favored languages, its geographic footprint it is rather small. English and Spanish, by contrast, are spoken broad swaths of the planet. Rest assured, you already speak one of the world’s most useful languages!


Who Are The 2017 Boston INMED Courses Grads?

September 8th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital, Massachusetts General, Center for Global Health and Global Disaster Relief again this fall hosted the INMED International Medicine and International Public Health Hybrid Courses. Allow me to introduce our inspiring graduates!


From North America come physicians and nurses in the fields of primary care and emergency medicine, and with service experience in Honduras, Ecuador and South Sudan. From Asia come medical and public health students from the nations of Pakistan, India, China, and UAE. And from Africa, representatives of Nigeria and Ghana in dentistry and medicine.


Where will these uber talented professionals next invest their skills? Most will advance towards the INMED Diplomas in International Medicine and International Public Health. This provides them will supervised application of their skills on behalf of disadvantages people in their home nation and throughout the entire world.


INMED Board’s Richard Randolph Aiding Houston

September 1st, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


Today is Richard Randolph’s birthday, and like so many first responders, he’s foregone the lighter side of life to give life-preserving care in these hours since Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Dr. Randolph, a Director on INMED’s Board, is also Chief Medical Officer for Heart to Heart International, whose mobile Disaster Response unit is providing clinical care to the thousands of Texans who have lost primary medical services.


Dr. Randolph is a family physician from the Kansas City area who first distinguished himself as a West Point Military Academy graduate, adding credentials including the INMED Academic Qualification in International Medicine & Public Health, and appointed Medical Officer for Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. In 2015 Dr. Randolph shipped out to Liberia. On location at the Tappita Ebola Treatment Unit he served Ebola afflicted people for six months – just one of his extended deployments since 1993 providing healthcare in seven different nations.



This week Dr. Randolph again diligently applies his hard-won insight on behalf of Americans in acute distress. Let’s all of us look for opportunities to share an encouraging word with these goodhearted volunteers!


Michigan State U Funds INMED Learner In Ghana

August 25th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“MSU’s family medicine department awarded me a scholarship that allowed me to learn from physicians, nurses, community health workers and pastors working hard to improve the health in northern Ghana. My words cannot fully express my experience!” Georgia Wheeldon, pictured here with the traditional King, was funded for her INMED Service-Learning experience at Ghana’s Baptist Medical Center.


“Spending time at the BMC,” Georgia Wheeldon continues, “reinforced my passion for medically underserved populations and the goal of finding how I can help to improve health in vulnerable populations. In medical school, I learned to delve deep into a community’s resources and partner with them to improve health. I carried this knowledge with me to Ghana and found many individuals, nurses, physicians, and health workers also working to improve the community’s health. I believe that all individuals deserve access to quality healthcare regardless of their means, and I think a powerful way to accomplish this is through strengthening those currently serving in vulnerable communities. I will be completing a residency in combined internal medicine and pediatrics and I intend to pursue a Masters in Public Health. This training (and my forever continued learning) will help me to benefit medically underserved populations that I will work with domestically and abroad.”


Mark Twain ~ “We wanted something foreign!”

August 18th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in Cross-Cultural Healthcare Pearls|


I am fascinated with cultures. For one, they represent enormous richness of human experience. Tasting a variety of cultures also creates light and insight into our own personal cultures that we could never appreciate unless we step outside of them.


With a right attitude, cross-cultural immersion can create some of the most enlightening, invigorating experiences imaginable. Mark Twain exemplified this sentiment when he wrote upon arriving in Morocco: “We wanted something thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign – foreign from top to bottom – foreign from center to circumference – foreign inside and out and all around – nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness – nothing to remind us of any other people and any other land under the sun. And lo! In Tangiers we have found it.”


One beautiful characteristic of culture is that we don’t necessarily need a passport to enjoy it. A free day and some means of travel can inevitably transport us into the presence of people with whom interacting can dramatically increase our experience of the richness of life.


Children Of The Atomic Bomb

August 11th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|


“An explosion so terrible, a flash so blindingly bright, I thought the world had ended,” expressed Shin’s father. “Then, just a quickly, everything went black.” 3-year-old Shin was missing. Father frantically searched for him among the wreckage and found Shin pinned under a house beam, badly hurt. “His face was bleeding and swollen… Everyone was burned, and they were crying moaning and screaming for water… All around, people were dying when they drank water,” Shin’s father said. “So, I didn’t dare give him any.” Shin did not survive the night. ~ except from “Shin’s Tricycle.


How many little Shins died in Hiroshima? Research indicates that 70,000–126,000 civilians died along with 20,000 soldiers. In other words, 4 to 7 non-combatants like 3-year-old Shin died for every Japanese soldier lost. Such has been the tragedy ever since, with children, mothers, and the elderly bearing most of the indescribable pain of modern warfare.


Today the United States nuclear capability is some 2,400 megatons – equaling Hiroshima x 159,000 – and along with eight other countries the world now possess 14,900 nuclear weapons. What does this say about today’s threat towards children like Shin, towards the one-year old playing right now on my lap?


INMED Helping Babies Breathe Saves a Life In Uganda

August 4th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“A laboring mother had pre-eclampsia and the midwives called saying that the fetal strip didn’t look good.” INMED Diploma candidate Isaac Billings pulled on his shoes, and ran to the maternity ward where his attending, recognizing the emergency, rapidly performed a C-section.


Isaac continues, “It was quickly obvious that the baby was in need of resuscitation. He was limp, with no respiratory effort, and had cyanosis. I quickly clamped and cut the umbilical cord, and handed the baby to the Nurse with the towel. The nurse, however, was new and did not have experience with newborn resuscitation. She and her assistant were struggling.


“Remembering my recent training in the INMED Helping Babies Breathe Course, began by quickly and vigorously drying and stimulate him with a towel. There was still no respiratory effort. Setting the wet towel aside, I began to ventilate with the bag-valve-mask. The nurse anesthetist came over and soon confirmed that the baby’s pulse was greater than 100. After about 90 more seconds total of ventilating, the baby began a weak cry and started to breath on his own. Five minutes later, he was pink with an APGAR score of 8 out of 10. The baby went on to two days in the NICU, but was ultimately discharged healthy to a smiling mother.”


You Too Can Join Us – Angola Day 30

July 30th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


Departing Angola today I’m mostly impressed with the opportunities. CEML Hospital, and its affiliate Kalukembe Hospital, have years of solid experience providing care to the least of these. One bold step forward is to multiply the number of Angolans with similar vision and skills. Here’s where you can be a blessing.


Seriously consider coming to join us. Come with a spirit of flexibility, of learning, of serving, and of very tactfully sharing your own insights and expertise. Angola is a difficult environment, but not the most difficult. Many internationals before you have successfully adapted.


INMED has a tract for service-learning in Angola via our Diploma in International Medicine & Public Health. Alternatively, and especially if you are not a healthcare professional, volunteering directly through CEML Hospital is also encouraged. Come sample Angola for two weeks. If you travel in July 2018 I’ll enjoy the experience with you!


Breaking Disease Stereotypes – Angola Day 28

July 28th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Training Sites In Action|


Little Avelino arrived today with his father, who explained how this four-year old has coughed constantly for 2 weeks. They visited a health post and were prescribed a cocktail of antibiotics. But when no improvement resulted, the family took a minivan taxi some eight hours to CEML Hospital. On my exam, Avelino had retraction of his chest muscles indicating difficulty breathing, and breath sound indicative of rather straightforward asthma. We don’t have the luxury of inhalers here in Angola, except at exorbitant cost, so I recommended 1960s-style medications. These have more adverse effects, but are still effective. Within a couple of hours Avelino was breathing fine.


Asthma – an exotic tropical disease? No quite. Actually, most of the health problems encountered in southern Africa are not exotic, perhaps not even infectious. Hypertension, stroke, heart disease, emphysema, hepatitis, and a host of injuries are found throughout the world. We with concern about limited-resource, cross-cultural healthcare do well to focus on developing mainstream health service which provide care for asthma, for example. And next we must address those unique, albeit often less frequent, diseases of poverty found in our communities. Both of these objectives are addressed in the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Course that I’m privileged to oversee. Let’s assist many more children like Avelino to breathe more easily.


From One To One Hundred – Angola Day 26

July 26th, 2017 by INMED
Posted in INMED Training Sites In Action|


Photoed here are some of the thirty-five nurse practitioners who staff the rural health centers surrounding Kalukembe Hospital. Twice each year they converge for two days of continuing education. I enjoyed the opportunity to lead eight hours of workshops on how to promote economic development and literacy, since these are so very essential to physical health. I also lead them through management of simulated cases of tropical fever, acute abdomen, orthopedic trauma, and postpartum bleeding.


When I first came to Angola in the 1990s my approach was to care for as many people myself as I reasonably could. That emphasis lasted about six months, when I finally realized in my heart that progress in this nation required hundreds of people like myself. So I changed my approach to multiplying skill capacity, to sharing my vision and skills with talented Angolans who themselves would carry on the mission. Now, this vision is not valued by myself alone. Insightful Angolans, like Antonio Salamão whom I described in my most recent post, also embrace this vision. What a joy to be part of this multiplication from one to one hundred.