Day Two – Ethan

Day 2 at the Women and Children’s Hospital.
     After getting a tour of the very confusing and maze-like hospital yesterday, it seemed a little bit more manageable today. This morning, I went on rounds at the Hem/Onc ward in the new building and saw several of the patients. It is amazing to me that the children were all so happy to see us and enjoyed playing with the toys that Lindsey, Sarah, and I brought. At one point while my dad was discussing cases with the Mongolian physicians, I poked my head into the hallway and saw that Lindsey and Sarah had gathered about 10 of the patients and were playing games, blowing bubbles, and bonding with the patients in the playroom. I must say, compared to what I have heard it was like when this project began 4 years ago, at least for Hem/Onc, the facilities have vastly improved. As a student, I learned what to look for as signs of disease and illness, and how to treat the different diseases which was all very interesting.
     After our lunch of chicken, rice, and beets, I sat in on Dr. Sheth’s lecture on seizures and my father’s lecture on Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia relapse treatment. I learned a lot watching the videos of different types of seizures and was really impressed by the Mongolian translator and the other physicians eagerly scribbling notes and asking questions. There were Mongolian physicians and residents from several different specialties, and I thought it was interesting that the Mongolian staff that was most engaged in the neurology and oncology lectures were the Cardiology residents that were able to attend.
The Mongolian physicians and staff have been so kind and appear appreciative of all the information and assistance that we are providing, but I worry about how much is being lost in translation, and what is not currently possible due to funding and availability.
-Ethan
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Mongolia Bound!

As we are less than 1 month away from beginning our journey to Mongolia, the excitement is really starting to build. Over the past few years, I have heard amazing things about Mongolia from Justin, Jenna and my father, and I am eager to finally be able to take in some of the sights for myself. After just finishing a Master’s program and applying to medical school, I am interested in seeing how the Mongolian medical education system differs from the one here, and I hope that I will learn with the Mongolians while offering some insight as to what the medical education process is like in America.

I am curious about the requirements to enter medical school there, and how well medical students feel prepared once they graduate.  I hope to achieve a better understanding of the Mongolian medical system and culture, so that I can return with new knowledge and applications of global medicine. In order to truly understand medicine, one needs to see how it works all around the world, not just in America. 

Finally, I am excited to be able to see all of the sights and topography that the land has to offer. I have been hearing all of these amazing things and seeing pictures from my family and in the blog’s past posts, and now I can’t believe that I am going to have the chance to see it all for myself! I look forward to sharing my experience with all of you during the few weeks we are on the other side of the world!

-Ethan Sandler