Category: International

The blue pyjama brigade: primary care in Lesotho

Here at RCSI Bahrain our students wear blue scrubs to hospital attachments, but it’s a long time since I have been in scrubs. With some trepidation I had agreed to take four final year RCSI students to work for a fortnight in a small hospital in Lesotho. Lesotho is a small mountainous nation, landlocked within South Africa. 40% of the population live on less than 1 US$ per day and almost a quarter of the adult population is HIV positive. You are 10 times more likely to die in an RTA than in the UK, and 50 times more...

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Volunteering in the Calais ‘jungle’

Niamh Scally graduated from Norwich Medical School in 2013 and completed foundation training in Manchester. She is currently enjoying an F3 year before starting her paediatric training in London later this year. She has an interest in health inequalities and care of hard to reach groups. Emily Player is a GP trainee on the Norwich VTS scheme. She graduated from Norwich Medical school in 2013 and has completed an academic foundation programme in Norwich. She has an interest in medical education and nutrition as well as migrant health and healthcare for vulnerable groups. We are both junior doctors, feeling helpless...

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‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’ – reflections on working with Syrian refugees

Nikesh Parekh is a GP trainee, a research fellow in ageing and part-time public health medical associate in London. Colin Tourle is a semi-retired GP in Hailsham. There are 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, of which the vast majority are hidden away in camps near the Syrian border. These are some of the most impoverished victims of the war in Syria, who lack the financial resource to travel further afield for safety. With the support of Iasis medical charity (www.iasis.org.uk), we were privileged to travel to three refugee camps within a mile of the Syrian border in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to...

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The Affordable Care Act and USA Healthcare: Reaping the Whirlwind

Professor John Frey III is now retired from the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health but is still an active teacher, research collaborator, journal editor and ‘faculty whisperer’ about career transitions at all stages of professional life (a free service but you have to buy lunch). He lives most of the year in Santa Fe New Mexico but also part time Madison Wisconsin. United States presidential elections are ridiculously expensive, far too drawn out, and provide an enormous amount of money for the media consultants to try to convince voters – or more likely scare...

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Desperately seeking Plato

We were in Athens with a couple of hours to kill. Acropolised out, too early for Ouzo. We had seen Socrates’ jail cell (almost certainly apocryphal).  We had seen the remains of Aristotle’s Lyceum, lovingly excavated. We had felt the weight of Pericles and the genius of Phidias. So we had a chance to check out an old rumour that the site of Plato’s academy was now marked only by a Texaco garage. (We had just found a Lidl on the site of the battle of Marathon, so who knows?) There it was on the map, “Plato’s Academy Archeological...

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