Sunday, September 25, 2011


23 September 2011

Continuing Medical Education

We had the initial session of continuing medical education (CME) today at Mundri Health Center, and it was GREAT!

I feel so blessed to see such answer to pray! This week was the first match for the Mundri Volleyball League, and today I began CME sessions at the health center – both works in the waiting that took a lot of time and patience to begin, and both initial programs had a fantastic start.

I’ve been working at the local government run health center for over a year. I estimate I’ve seen well over 2,000 patients in that time frame, most under the age of five.

I’ve really come to thoroughly enjoy my time at the health center, but that has not always been the case. It has been, and often still is, a frustrating place to be for many reasons. The crowds are ever large, the staff few, and the chaos much. But I truly enjoy seeing the patients, even if they are sometimes demanding, impatient, and don’t do what I ask them to – but I am often that way too.

I mostly see children five years and younger, which is great by me, thrown in with the occasional adult, or as often happens, the mother has one child that is sick so she decides to bring all her kids and get them checked out too, in addition to herself. I am happy to see the adults, but I think the other clinical officers (mid-level clinicians) appreciate when I take the children, which is usually the majority of the patients.

Apparently there used to be CME in the distant past, but nothing as of late. I’ve wanted to do CME for a long time, but my initiation into the health center has been reserved as I learn more about the staff and how things work – who supplies what, what the staff roles are, how referrals are made, the chain of command, etc.

I asked the head clinical officer a few weeks ago if he thought the staff would be interested in a weekly CME session. He did not seem interested in my offer, but said he would ask the staff at their next meeting. And he did, and they said ‘yes’, and so today we began!

I was not sure if the staff would really come, or what time they would come, or how many would come, or if they would understand all my English, or if they would even care.

I decided to talk about malaria, as the majority of our patients suffer from it and we spend a lot of time and resources trying to treat it. Plus 1,000,000 die from it each year around the world.

Ten staff members came relatively on time (Sudanese time) and were engaged, and thoughtful, and insightful, and full of great questions. It was really fun! And I think we all learned from each other. Even the staff hospital cleaners were engaged and seemingly happy to participate.

The CME session was good for many reasons, especially as I think about my first day at the health center. I’ve come along way since then, and it has been a joy to witness the change in thought of some of the staff members and to see subtle changes in the way things operate – hopefully all for the better. The plan is to have the CME every Friday morning, with much of the teaching falling on me – I admittedly enjoy teaching, but I hope to incorporate a wide variety of staff from all the departments. My hope is that we can all learn from one another.

*I selfishly also need the help and encouragement in reviewing for my national physician assistant recertification exam, which I will be taking in early 2012 – something that needs to be done every six years. My medical skills are horrible at the moment, so I have MUCH reviewing to do!


DrsMyhre said...

I'm so happy for you! Between this and the volleyball I don't think Mundri or the team will let you go anytime soon. I know there will be frustrating weeks, but it makes me glad to know you are deriving satisfaction from what was one of my favorite and most useful activities of the last decade or more . . and even on Friday mornings too!!

Heidi said...

so happy to hear you are "thoroughly enjoying" it these days (or most days) I think I know a little bit about what that might be like ;) looking forward to listening in at CME in person :)