Tales from the Bush: Courtney Nall, MD
Volunteering at the FAME clinic in Tanzania was an incredible experience. Having worked with other international medical missions in the past, I always look forward to experiencing a new place, new friends, new food, new culture, and the new lessons that I will learn. One thing that I learned while working at the FAME clinic was the importance of teamwork when providing exceptional patient care. All of us had our own jobs from sweeping the floors, checking in patients, diagnosing and treating, running the lab, filling prescriptions, organizing finances, getting more donations, recruiting volunteers, etc. Each task was essential and required great thought and care given that money and resources were limited. When there was a challenging patient case, we would all work together to come up with the best possible solution for the patient. This is how medicine should be— individuals bringing their knowledge and talents together to create something better then anyone could have done on their own. One specific patient comes to mind—a 5 year old girl that was severely malnourished with little family to take care of her. We all played a part in trying to help her: the doctors examined her and discussed possible diagnoses, the nurse was able to start an IV, the cooks made her rice to eat, the lab was able to draw blood and run rests, one of the assistants was able to translate for her tribe's dialect, the pharmacy organized her medications, and a local social worker researched possible hospitals for her to go for further care. We all depended on each other. It's sometime easy to forget at FAME that we were lacking in some resources, as the hearts of the people made up for it. Now that I'm back home, I hope to continue to practice what FAME taught me: be grateful for what you have, work as a team, and love what you do.