My time in Kenya was a whirlwind of some of the best memories, friends, and experiences that I will never forget. From night shifts, weekend treks, to community outreach opportunities, my internship taught me valuable lessons that I will carry with me as I pursue a career in medicine, and I am so grateful for the mentors I had the opportunity to learn from at Coast General.⁣⁣
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While the academic component of learning about treatments and diseases was a large part of my experience in Kenya, some of the most important things that I learned on my trip were actually the ones having nothing to do with reading x-rays or determining the cause of chest pain. I learned how a simple hand-hold can comfort someone who has lost their ability to speak. I learned how simply listening and being present is a crucial part of gaining a stranger’s trust. All these lessons that I learned at Coast General are ones that instilled in me the kind of doctor that I want to be. One who is a mixture of confidence and compassion, and one that will not lose sight of the fact that I am treating a patient first, not simply a disease.⁣⁣
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Coming back to Kenya this summer with IMA was the best decision. Seeing familiar faces, building off knowledge and observations from the year before, and spending concentrated time in the Accident & Emergency Department made both summers in Kenya exponentially more meaningful, and Kenya will always hold a special place in my heart! The IMA staff was nothing short of amazing. The staff worked day and night to not only keep us well-fed and safe, but to ensure that our experience, both in and out of the hospital, was everything we hoped for. The program coordinators answered my calls/texts at any time of day or night, supported me through my fundraising efforts, and worked with me to make sure the time I spent in the hospital was purposeful and well-spent. As an intern in a country halfway across the world, I always felt like these people had my back! I cannot say enough great things about the staff, they are a huge part of what made my trip so meaningful and worthwhile!