In The Middle Of Nowhere

Woah it’s been a whirlwind of an elective. And I’m sorry I’ve not been updating on here about my actual elective. Other things have been happening during this time that put my stress levels super high and got in the way of my blogging about nice things regarding my elective.

And now my elective is over! I’m leaving in 4 days for home! Super excited!

Time in India has been quite interesting! Had a really good time in the emergency department where the doctors let me do pretty much everything from being part of resuscitation, doing ABGs, (my first successful one made me so happy I felt like such a nerd), and I even successfully intubated a patient who couldn’t breathe.

Very neat. Lots of hands-on stuff is why I chose this elective. So that’s a good thing.

Most of the rest of the time though I was observing doctors and talking to patients. I saw some pretty neat signs like Janeway lesions which are super rare, Eisenmenger syndrome which I’d never heard about back home, and even heard the bruits of a bilateral arterial stenosis. Pretty cool stuff.

My rural hospital experience was pretty interesting too. Met a doctor who has single-handedly been running this clinic from 25 years. She is the lone medical officer there among about 15 nurses. She does literally everything. From seeing 40 patients a day, to delivering babies, to home visits, to colposcopies. Literally everything. Her knowledge was amazing. She basically knows more than any general practitioner I had seen back home in New Zealand. Not suggesting that they were incompetent or anything. But this doctor was just pretty extraordinary.

And then there were the patients. I could seriously appreciate what poor health literacy meant, in India. A woman had been given a prescription for her hyperthyroidism. She lived quite far away from the clinic and had lost her prescription. So she went to her local pharmacy and asked for “thyroid medication”. She was given thyroxine which is the treatment for an underactive thyroid that would worsen the condition for someone who had a hyperactive thyroid like this woman did. She had no idea of the difference. And of course it’s also the pharmacist’s fault for giving her that medication without a prescription, but still. She didn’t know the difference. And that had serious effects on her health before she was able to return to the clinic and the doctor had told her to stop the thyroxine and provide the correct prescription.

I also saw an elderly couple who both had complications from type 2 diabetes. But both of them, were beggars that lived at the local temple. The doctor at the clinic told me how difficult it is to offer diet and lifestyle advice to people like this. Because hey eat more fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean anything to someone who can’t control what they eat or if they eat at all.

Super intense stuff.

The rest of Coimbatore city was pretty quiet. Not much else happening. So I spent a lot of time writing my report for this whole elective. I did get some cool pics though! 

Coimbatore is bordered by mountains so mainly a lot of interesting flora and fauna!

I’m glad to be getting home after so long. My supervisor went on leave for the last week of my elective so I get an extra week of holiday before I get back to hospital in New Zealand. Should be fun!

So. The verdict.

Was my elective life changing? No. No it wasn’t.

Did I still learn a lot?

Yes. Yes I did.

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