"The global health elective in Uganda was one of the most fulfilling experiences I had while at Drexel University College of Medicine. I spent a month at Kawempe Women’s Hospital in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. During my time there, I gained a newfound respect for the staff and the field of obstetrics and gynecology. The hospital is the referral hospital for obstetrics and gynecology for the entire nation of Uganda, which means that health centers, local clinics and small hospitals send cases they can’t handle to Kawempe. In addition, the hospital is government-run and, for the most part, care is free to all patients. In an environment with high patient volume and 'free' services, the healthcare system can become overwhelmed.
"Despite having limited resources, students, residents, attendings, nurses, and midwives found creative ways to care for the staggering number of patients they see every day. While working at Kawempe, I gained a better understanding of how to maximize clinical care in resource-limited settings. As a medical student in the United States, it is easy to take for granted the amount of testing, equipment and support staff that are always available. Not having the same amount of resources gave me the opportunity to challenge myself and utilize my physical examination and other clinical skills in dynamic manners.
"The global health elective was an invaluable opportunity to step outside of the classroom and gain meaningful experience in learning how to manage patients in high volume and high acuity settings. I highly recommend this elective for anyone interested in global health. I developed meaningful connections and friendships that will lead to further collaborative work in the future. This elective was a great stepping stone in achieving my long-term goal of incorporating international medicine into my career. I hope to return to Uganda, as well as visit other countries, to improve the medical outcomes of women."