CFHI is the way to go when it comes to global health immersion!

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CFHI’s Global Heatlh Immersion Program has given me the chance to pick out the differences between our two healthcare systems and discern for myself what works and what doesn’t in each system.  Though the two systems are vastly different, there are a few similarities and things that work for both and don’t work for either.

The first difference that I noticed is that of insurance, or lack of medical insurance in India! Most healthcare is provided on a pay out of pocket basis, or based on free government subsidized healthcare that I described in postings below. There are two types of hospitals and clinics: private and government.  If a patient is attending a private clinic they are required to pay 100% out of pocket up front and each clinic charges differently depending on specialty, etc. On the other hand, if a patient is being seen at a government hospital, payment widely varies.

We have been told that India is seeing an increase in insured patients but Read the rest of this entry »

While here in India on the Maternal and Child Health Program in Pune program, I read Tracy Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains.”  This book is a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, who has helped change the face of health care in Haiti (and other countries) with his revolutionary organization Partners in Health (PIH).  It gave a good idea of what global health should look like and how to accomplish the task of creating a global health economy.

CFHI’s immersion programs give students the opportunity to see how other cultures and societies do healthcare and to what extent their systems are or aren’t working.  Here in India, their DOTS programs for tuberculosis and leprosy have a 95% success rate while only 30% of women are receiving antenatal care.  This program gave me insight into a culture that is not possible through other means and programs because of the unique way it approaches the relationship between preceptor and student.

As for defining global health, Read the rest of this entry »

These two topics mentioned in the title were two very big topics that we were constantly talking about during our clinical rotations and in our free time we experienced a very different culture from our own.  As we learned through the CFHI program, India’s work culture is very lax compared to that of the United States. This helps create underserved communities, especially in the rural areas of India, because doctors do not want to make the effort to get to these areas that most need care.

During a visit to the rural site, Dr. Dabak explained to us that even though four doctors may be posted to one rural hospital or clinic, only one may be available at a time even when all four are supposed to be there.  The work culture in India, as we have seen, is very laid back and sometimes even lazy, especially when it comes to serving a rural community.  Often time’s doctors will show up late, not stay very long, and not do a thorough job of examining patients.

Specialty care is also a problem in areas outside of the city and it is often times impossible to get the care needed without community many kilometers.  This is one of India’s biggest problems.  Even though cities are large and over-populated, 70% of India’s people Read the rest of this entry »

  1. Bring and test your own clothes detergent before coming to India if you have sensitive skin and make sure it is specifically for hand-washing clothes only.  I don’t normally have sensitive skin at all and I still had problems with the very concentrated and strong detergent that is available here.
  2. Change US dollars to Rupee’s before you leave the US and make sure you ALWAYS Read the rest of this entry »

During the Pune, India program, we were privileged to be able to see not only very urban and city Maternal and Child Health but rural as well.  Coming from a very small rural community that is feeling the doctor shortage as much as the rest of the rural United States, I was able to use that perspective to shape my experience here in India.  I learned that even though India and the United States are two vastly different nations (I think that goes without saying) the doctor shortage and the rural coverage problem is very much the same in both.

One statistic reads that as much as 70% of India lives in rural conditions (according to Dr. Dabak) and many of them are literate and unable to take care of themselves.  On our rural visits, Read the rest of this entry »

— Stared at, gawked at, photographed, pinched by sleazy men, feeling small and sometimes utterly helpless are just the few of the ups and downs I got to go through as a minority in India. “He who angers you, conquers you.” This could not be truer in a country where being fair-skinned makes you the minority, a first time experience for me.

I first realized that I was going to get to experience what it felt to be different when I sat waiting in the terminal in Dubai to board the final plane of my journey to India.  As I looked around, it was then that I truly realized that I was the only one with fair skin getting ready to step onto the aircraft and that my world as I knew it was about to drastically change.

Stepping off the airplane in Mumbai was just as terrifying as Read the rest of this entry »