1: Being a “patient” in a neuro video that we’ve given to medical students in Cambodia
2: Demonstrating neurological exam to about 50 medical residents in Cambodia over the course of 8 days of 4 hour lectures.
3. Typical heavy rain
4. A broken EEG machine
5. Stuck in traffic for 3 hours (before it got flooded)
6. Testing reflexes to physicians at pediatric mental clinic
7. Driving down the mountain Thansur Bokor Highland Resort
8. Haggling for fresh crabs in Kampot
9. Chilling in Kien Swai eating fresh fruits where I was almost married
10. Talented performers in Phare Circus in Battambang
11. Teaching neuroanatomy to physical therapists in Catholic charity clinic in Battambang
12. Meeting the Bishop based in Cambodia
13. Being treated medication by grandniece
14. A banana tree in my cousin’s garden
15. Chasing my grandnephew (not sure if his nanny knows what her shirt means)
Why I Was There
One of my professors had been going to Cambodia for the last few years since her father lived there for his work. She decided that she wanted to do something health related seeing how there were 3 neurologists in the country as of 2012. I was blessed to have been able to go on this trip to help with logistics, interpretation, and technology usage. I was also blessed to have been able to stay with family for most of the trip and catch up with my cousins and their kids…and their grandkids.
What I Learned
There is enormous potential for the country to improve its health care. Currently, many people go to Singapore or Thailand for specialty care and hopefully as medical training and technology access improves in Cambodia, there won’t be a need to spend thousands of dollars to travel. There is a growing middle class which is good for the country, but that also means more cars and more congestion. Hopefully, something could be done to curb the import of second hand cars, and also improve public transportation. And finally, as I’m still processing this trip for myself, I have to consider what my role will be in the future. I am in a very privileged position having the opportunity to complete my education in the United States, with access to great health care and an abundance of medical tech. I need to realize that many Cambodians will not have the same access to technology, training, and mediations. And for me to really meet people where they’re at, I want to help produce practical solutions with the resources they have.
What Drives Me
The possibility of a healthier world, where people of all economic backgrounds can get humane and effective healthcare. That every person has the opportunity to recover and heal from illness to be who they were made to be. To clean up after the wars that have ended too many innocent lives. To simply pay it forward to the doctors that saved my parents life at the Thai Refugee Camps outside Cambodia.