Monthly Archives: July 2014

Away Clinic in Norteno, Panama

This week, 7 out of 9 members of our team worked with Floating Doctors in Norteno, Panama at an away clinic. It was incredibly successful! We trained over 5 Parteras (Panamanian midwives) in prenatal care  and delivered prenatal kits that includes blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, hand sanitizer, and other supplies. We also scanned over 10 pregnant women using the ROUTE Protocol. Several of us were able to participate in clinic, including intake and translator roles. All in all, the Floating Doctors team saw over 250 patients.

Being a part of the clinic has allowed us to see some interesting cases! We saw several cases of leishmaniasis. The disease form in Panama presents cutaneously and is caused by a sand fly bite. We were also able to use our ultrasound skills to diagnose gallstones and kidney hydronephrosis. One of the sadder cases we saw using ultrasound was a miscarriage. The fetus no longer had a heart beat at 6 months into the pregnancy.


It is a very humbling experience to be allowed in the community. They cooked for us and we bathed in the river nearby. The kids are very fun to interact with, and they are always saying “Hola!” as we walk through the community.

Jessica, Jessa, and Caleb are leaving us this week, as they have already been down in Panama for 4 weeks!  We are looking forward to next week, with the arrival of our last team member, Laura.

Vietnam, here we are!

After a long 16-hour flight, we landed in the capitol of Vietnam, in Ha Noi at Noi Bai International Airport.

Three young doctors from the radiology department at Central Military Hospital 108 greeted us with much warmth and hospitality. They shuttled us to our hotel which is conveniently located 5 minutes away from the hospital.  They were very proud to show us famous landmarks of the city such as the six bridges of Ha Noi as we drove by each and the 4 km ceramic wall depicting the rich history of the city.

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After eating our first lunch in the hospital cafeteria with some staff members, we went back to our hotel. We were able to survive walking through the bustling streets where no one follows traffic lights or lanes, by learning to cautiously weave between mopeds as a group. During dinner we tried a nearby restaurant (Nha Hang Ngon) with many small Vietnamese dishes paired with fish sauce. Afterwards, we explored the city and walked around the park surrounding Sword Lake, a landmark mentioned by one of the doctors. The park was very lively, filled with many groups dancing to different types of music, including swing, zumba, and salsa. We stumbled upon a large garage where there were many dessert vendors and stopped for some freshly made ice cream bars– perfect for the hot & humid Vietnam weather.

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Random rooster pet outside a restaurant


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Very “ngon” (delicious)!


Our Night Out in Town :)

imageimageimageYesterday was our most fun day yet in Turkey! After working hard teaching from 8 to 5, we went to Taksim Square for dinner. Taksim Square is one of the major tourist attraction sites in the European part of Istanbul and is filled with restaurants, shops, and hotels and has the Monument of the Republic. We had delicious  traditional Turkish dinner and dessert at Mado restaurant, where I discovered my new favorite dish: yoghurt kebab. Yummmm! We are definitely going back!

Cool Poster

Look at this poster advertising what we are doing here!




G’day from Australia!

Ultrasound Practice

Just landed in Australia and it’s awesome! We have been working hard to refine our Ultrasound skills in preparation for our workshop at the University of New England in Armidale. Luckily,we have had the opportunity to do a bit of sight seeing down in Sydney. We strolled around the Opera House and we got to have lunch overlooking the beautiful Bondi Beach.



Cheers Mates

-Team Oz



Our First Day!

Today was a huge success!

Our entire team has been together in Turkey for just over 24 hours and we have already finished our first day of teaching.  There were a few hiccups, but they have all been dealt with smoothly and efficiently by both our team, and our Turkish hosts from the University of Istanbul.

As great as teaching is, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned.  I can now speak about 6 Turkish words (although I can’t spell any yet), eaten traditional Turkish foods and breakfasts, and have already met with a doctor from the OB/GYN department associated with the school who has volunteered to allow me to learn from him and shadow him when we have time.

I can tell this is the start of something great.


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Checking Out Our Classrooms

Figuring out how to play podcasts on the projector in one of the classrooms we're using.

Figuring out how to play podcasts on the projector in one of the classrooms we’re using.

We got access to the school’s facilities the day before our classes started. It was great being able to tour the school and the surrounding areas in Istanbul briefly. It was a nice break from dealing with some problems with our housing situation. (Five girls sharing one not so functional bathroom doesn’t usually equate with smooth sailing) But at the end of the day, we all went out to eat a delicious dinner! All in all, a successful day.

Uma atualização de Porto Alegre

July 6

Olá and happy belated 4th of July! The three of us have had an amazing experience in Porto Alegre so far teaching the residents enrolled in our courses at Santa Casa de Misericórdia and Hospital de Clínicas and exploring the city during World Cup season. We had a busy schedule this past week that included many lectures and hands-on instruction at Santa Casa. A highlight of the course has been our lecture/instruction on ultrasound-guided procedures, including lumbar puncture, central and peripheral line placement in various areas, and local nerve blocks. The residents were very excited to learn how to apply their new knowledge in ultrasound to their day-to-day practice. It’s a testament to the strength of UCI’s ultrasound curriculum that even as M1s we are able to educate these residents and potentially improve patient care. Check out this blog to see us in action:

We were fortunate to have a break in our schedule last weekend to enjoy some of the World Cup action that’s been a central focus of every Brazilian the past couple weeks. In full ‘Merica attire, we watched both the Mexico – Netherlands and Germany – Algeria games. Both were incredible matches and made for unforgettable experiences.

Tonight we have the privilege of enjoying a homemade churrasco prepared by Dra. Ana Claudia Tonelli — the director of the internal medicine residency programs at Santa Casa and Hospital de Clínicas. We are looking forward to course after course of delicious grilled meats. Please don’t laugh if we each come back to the States 15 lbs heavier than we were when we left Irvine.



Asante Sana, Squashed Banana

Hello friends and family!

We are happy to report we have had another stimulating, educational and fun week here in Mwanza, Tanzania. Kate, Kevin, Megan, Mikey, Masha and Lauren the second (!) years feel very grateful for the opportunities we have already had here.

The MS2s are teaching an “Introduction to Ultrasound” course at Tandabui Institute of Health, Education, Science, and Technology. Our students have already been lectured on Knobology, Abdominal and Cardiac Ultrasound. The first quiz was held at the end of this week and we were thrilled with results. Our students are catching on very quickly and ask thoughtful, thorough questions that show their interest in learning. To our surprise Tandabui students are currently on a break from school but many have choose to stay near Mwanza in order to take our course. We are humbled to teach students that our so dedicated to our class and ultrasound.

In the mornings we rotate through several clinics here in Mwanza where we have felt welcomed by all of the medical staff and patients. We are working with an MS3, Kate Hom, at Buzuruga Clinic for women. The MS2s have had the opportunity to ultrasound more pregnant women than we can count with Kate and our translator’s help. We have been able to discover multiple women with babies in breeched position and refer them to a hospital for delivery. Excitingly, several of us have been able to participate in deliveries at the clinic. For some of us it was the first delivery we have ever witnessed and we loved it. We are hoping to see as many deliveries as possible this month.

The MS2s who are not at Buzuraga Clinic can be found at Mwananchi Hospital in the mornings. Everyday at Mwananchi brings interesting new patients and cases. We are able to shadow a local physician, Dr. Keto, on his rounds and assist with ultrasound as he requests. After rounds we shadow other hospital workers including in the laboratory, learning to draw blood. Kevin and Kate were lucky enough to be present on a day when a local ophthalmologist was performing 8 cataract surgeries. It was amazing to see the efficiency and skill of the surgeon using tools no longer used in the US. The cataracts removed were very advanced and it was exciting to think what a quick difference these surgeries would make for the patients.

The “Ultrasound Pathology” class being taught by our wonderful, dedicated MS3s is going very smoothly. Their students from last summer are very excited the MS3s have returned and we are happy to see they are still enthusiastic about learning ultrasound. Their course is being taught at three different locations over three weeks in Mwanza in order to reach the older clinical officer students working in the different hospitals. Their first course at Nyamagana Hospital was a great success. The MS3s were  able to go on rounds with the medical students and physicians at Nyamagana hospital in the morning before class. With the help of Dr. Boughton they were able to demonstrate first hand the utility of bedside ultrasound finding gallstones, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and ascites just to name a few instances. Today, our MS3s are teaching procedures using gelatin models at the second location, Magu Hospital.

One of their students, Nixon, was so happy to see the MS3s again he invited all of us on the trip into his home in Mwanza. His family was incredibly welcoming and friendly. We were served a delicious avocado and carrot juice, and none of us got sick!

In case you didn’t read this long blog post, hopefully these pictures give you a glimpse of our time so far!

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Our sweet ride for the month in a private Dala-Dala photo (7)

Mikey, Megan and Kevin try the local version of donuts, andazis.

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We took a boat ride on Lake Victoria during sunset to celebrate Brad’s birthday.

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Megan, Mikey and Lauren teaching Introduction to Ultrasound at Tandabui

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Kate Hom taking a selfie

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Kevin, ready to ultrasound outside of Mwananchi Hospital


The ladies and a bored Mikey purchase beautiful, colorful fabrics at the local market.

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Brad, Lauren and Allison dancing with some children. We learned their version of Duck, Duck, Goose called Twiga, Twiga, Simba which translates to Giraffe, Giraffe, Lion.


Almost time to wrap up our stay in Gudalur.  I think my only regret is that we can’t stay longer.

The Ashwini organization was started in 1990 to fight the social injustice and exploitation the Adivasi (tribal) people were suffering.  The Adivasi are traditionally aboriginal hunter-gatherers that live in scattered, small villages throughout the forest.  After vast influxes of immigrants (starting with British colonization) and legislation banning people from entering the forest, the Adivasi became the lowest members of society and could only work as bonded servants or unskilled laborers.

The Ashwini organization first facilitated the formation of village level sangams to prevent any more of the Adivasi land from being taken away.  The Adivasi were taught how to plant permanent cash crops like tea and pepper.  More people joined the Ashwini effort and eventually a school and hospital were established.  Today, the infant mortality rate has gone from 25% to better than the national average. Illiterate tribal girls were trained and have become nurses in the hospital.  The hospital ownership and administration has been given over to the tribals, thus enormously elevating their status in society.

On wednesday, we headed out into the field and visited two villages.  The hospital serves ~300 villages in the area.  Each village is visited once a month to deliver medications and nutrition supplements for the children.  All infants and children are monitored for malnutrition by tracking weight and height.  The entire population of tribals have been screened for sickle cell trait.  A mental health program is currently being established.

Today we visited the school.  It served up to 10th standard until last year, when the law changed.  Now it serves children up to 5th standard.  It also serves as a bridging center, helping children who dropped out get to a level that would allow re-entry into regular school.

We topped off the day with a short safari in the Mudumalai tiger reserve and going to the Elephant camp to watch them being fed.

distributing monthly supply of supplemental nutrition and medications for the children in the villages

distributing monthly supply of supplemental nutrition and medications for the children in the villages

lunch break among tea and pepper fields

lunch break among tea and pepper fields

elephant feeding time at mudumalai tiger reserve

elephant feeding time at mudumalai tiger reserve