One of the busy days

April 8th, 2015 by Taisei Suzuki

Macha Mission Hospital has been operational more than 30 years.  Currently, there is an American physician (has been there for more than 30 years too) who does majority of surgeries, and a Congolese physician and a few Zambian physicians who take care of everything from in-patient to out-patient care.  There are some Zambian “interns” who are getting more clinical trainings under the supervision of these physicians as well.  My preceptors change depending on which department I am involved in at the time, but I too mainly work with the aforementioned physicians.


P1040159Macha Mission Hospital has mainly four wards – Men’s, Women’s, Pediatric, and OB.  They also have ART clinic and TB ward.  As a medical student, you can choose which department you want to work.  Since I am here only one month, I picked pediatric for my first two weeks, and then Women’s ward for the rest of two weeks.



Tuesdays and Fridays are surgery day, and you will spend the most of the day in the OR.  If you finish early, you may go to the out-patient clinic and sees whoever comes in.  On the other days, you will round in the assigned ward with your attending, and then go to the out-patient clinic to see patients.  Attendings will challenge you, and you get a lot of autonomy!  On Wednesdays and Thursdays, we have meeting/didactic for 30 minutes in the morning before the round.


P1040213Today was a quite busy day for me.  It has been a week and half since I started to work here, and my attending asked me to do the round in pediatric ward by myself because several physicians were out of town and we were short in physicians…  With great support from Zambian nurses, I was able to make clinical judgement for about 20 kiddos, and discharged a few.  Then I went to the out-patient clinic to see walk-in patients.  They come with various complains – headache, chronic back pain, hypertension follow-up, vaginal infection with pregnancy, fall from riding a motorbike, etc etc…  There were so many patients so that I had to work until 2pm then go back to home to have my quick lunch.  When I went back to the clinic, there were no walk-in patients, but there was an emergency C-section.  I helped to clean and stimulate the newborn.  I was amazed how much Zambian clinical staff members can do by themselves!