Our Lambaréné Fellows often talk about just how much hands-on experience they get practicing medicine at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in West Africa. Medical Fellows work as junior physicians in pediatrics or medicine rotations, supervised by hospital medical staff. Public Health Fellows work with the Hospital’s Community Health Outreach Program, which provides village-based health care, including maternal/child health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, TB education and follow-up, and malaria prevention and treatment.
It can come as a bit of a shock, even to a fourth-year medical student. But Fellows usually find immersion in a hospital where patient need far outweighs access to the latest technology and treatment to be an invaluable opportunity to actually practice medicine.
Fellow For Life Dr. Melanie Dubois, for example, called her time as a Medical Fellow in Lambaréné “a great learning experience as a fourth-year medical student, particularly with exposure to tropical diseases that are rarely seen in the United States.”
Dr. Dubois, who completed her fellowship at the Schweitzer Hospital earlier this year, said that the limited resources at the hospital forced her to improve her physical exam skills and rely less on laboratory tests. She also found herself caring children with severe anemia and malaria who often required blood transfusions.
Dr. Dubois is now using the skills she honed at the Schweitzer Hospital as a pediatrics resident at Children’s Hospital of Montefiore in the Bronx. She will discuss her experience in Lambaréné and how it has impacted her career path in the breakout session “Lambaréné Schweitzer Hospital Service: An Experience of a Lifetime” at the 2016 SPARK! Leadership Conference at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel Nov. 5. Dr. Ezra Barzilay, program director of the Lambaréné Chapter and also a Lambaréné Fellow for Life, will co-lead the session with Dubois.
We’re looking forward to hearing Dr. Dubois’ insights into working at the Schweitzer Hospital and what it means for her future. Register for the SPARK! Leadership Conference today and join us. You’ll be glad you did