Elective Rotation Field Stories

During my time with IHS, I had the privilege of engaging in street medicine, traveling through Shiprock and Farmington to deliver care needed to the local population experiencing homelessness. I saw a diverse array of complaints in primary care clinic, and learned the flexibility and creativity required to practice in a rural environment. I was humbled by the continued trust placed in health care providers despite the multitude of historical injustices this community has suffered.

This opportunity to work and interact face-to-face is invaluable … and I see this experience as the beginning of a lifelong global health engagement.

Tessa Barclay, Pediatrics, April 2022


“I worked closely with the pediatrics team to devise strategies to identify adolescents at risk for developing depressive symptoms and how to properly help them find the mental health resources that would benefit them.  It was very rewarding to see the same patients that I initially saw my first few weeks come back weeks later in a much better mental head space.”

– Mike Smith, Pediatrics, July 2019


“During my rotation, I had the rare opportunity to gain first-hand experience in tackling chronic diseases in an Asian patient population – a population that I hope to serve.  I also learned unforgettable lessons on the complexity and diversity of cultural norms, health care policy, and how together they impact health and health care.”

– Nancy Yang, Medicine, July 2019


“On both the psychiatric and medical wards, the Sri Lankan providers emphasized treating the patient as a whole, and incorporating the patient’s family and support system in their treatment, which is something that I will take with me into my day-to-day work as a physician in the US.”

– Liz Gilbert, Med/Psych, March 2018


“Developing countries such as Thailand have a higher prevalence of opportunistic infections within the HIV population. Our time on infectious disease allowed us to see numerous cases of what would be rare infections in the United States. These experiences have expanded our medical knowledge of these topics and reinforced the importance of HIV prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment.”

– Annie Reihman & Luke Cerbin, Medicine, March 2018


“When we had a patient that required central venous access, my Nicaraguan co-resident taught me how to place a central line using the landmark technique. I showed him how to place a central line using ultrasound-guidance, which is now standard of care in many developed countries. This mutual sharing of information made my rotation a really interesting and meaningful experience.”

– Laura Miller, Med-Peds, March 2018


“As the acting attending for the pediatrics service at Tenwek, I developed more independence and autonomy as a physician and learned to better lead and teach the residents with whom I worked.”

– Megan Pike, Pediatrics, January 2018


“Having the opportunity to work with smart, caring people who are willing to do more than what is asked of them to take lifesaving actions for the sake of our patients – this is one of the reasons why I was inspired to go into medicine – and my time in Eldoret allowed me to live that.”

– Vishwan Pamarthi, Radiology, January 2018


“I took care of many patients at KCMC who could not afford their medications and who did not show up to clinic appointments because they could not afford to pay transportation costs. Even though I was halfway across the world, I could not help but be reminded of my patients at the Duke Outpatient Clinic, who often face the same exact problems related to their care. My global health experience has strengthened my resolve to try and figure out how to make care more affordable for patients both in low-income settings like Tanzania, and in low-income neighborhoods right here in the US.” 

– Caroline Sloan, Medicine, July 2017