There is No I in Team

May 31, 2016

     Today was our second day of clinic and we saw 50 more patients than yesterday – making the total of 165! We are hoping more people come tomorrow because it was advertised on the radio! At clinic these past two days I have realized that this trip would not be possible if we did not have each member of our team. As a clinician I would not be able to do my job if I did not have an interpreter. I am so thankful to have these medical students, graduates, and nurses who are translating for us. If they were not there I could not communicate with my patient. Also, each time patients are seen I determine what medications are given and they proceed to the pharmacy after the encounter. If we did not have our pharmacy students who work to prepare the medications and to counsel these patients on how to take their medications, our clinic would suffer greatly. The nursing students are a huge help because they can help counsel patients, help with physical exam, and help with wound care. It allows patient encounters to be more efficient and we can see more patients! The attending physicians are crucial to this team. They help make sure that we as clinicians (third year medical students) don’t make mistakes and don’t overlook significant findings. Another big part of what they do is providing encouragement. It is very intimidating coming from America where your opinion in patient care is never the final say, to being in clinic where we are prescribing medications and making referrals for our patients. We could not do it without them. Also, the undergraduates are vital in the clinic. They help with intake, taking vitals, patient encounters, and in the pharmacy.  Without them clinic would not run as smoothly.

     I am so grateful to be a part of this trip and to be able to see and help the people of Cambodia. I am thankful I can do that while being part of this team. It feels as if we are truly making a difference even though we have limited resources. Crossing cultures and changing lives is the slogan of this trip and as a team I think we are doing just that.     

Laura Lowrey, Medical Student

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