Some more thoughts

Sometimes when I come back home on Thursday-Saturday nights I get nostalgic and I start looking over all my photos from Vietnam. Then i start thinking about all the changes that need to be made over there and I start to wonder if I’m ever going to be able to make the differences I know I can make. HIV is a serious problem in Vietnam that everyone, including myself, needs to take more seriously. Starting to write this paper is going to be tough, but I’m resolved to start putting whatever wheels of justice I can into motion. I learned in an epidemiology class last semester that justice is a major goal of healthcare. Having returned from my first med school interview, the concept is fresh in my mind. Let’s see if I can’t make something special n

Summer 2010 Summary: Vietnam

I’ve been back from Vietnam for a month now. I vowed not to eat any Vietnamese food for at least a month, so tomorrow you’ll be able to find me at Saigon Pearl down on Richmond Road. I’ll be curled up to a bowl of pho and some fresh cha gio, sipping on an iced coffee with condensed milk. I’ll be there trying to relive the best summer of my life. I’m only a month removed from those dirty, bustling streets and already I’m ready to go back.

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Saigon Saigon

From the ninth floor of the rooftop bar at the Caravelle hotel, I am treated to a spectacular view of Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve been here over six weeks already and have already learned more than I thought I would. In terms of medicine and HIV, Vietnam is startlingly similar to us and yet remains a world apart. Doctors here earn slightly more than $1000 US dollars a month. Everyone gets an ultrasound because that’s the equipment they have. And, as expected, every treatment prescribed is a strange mix of Western biomedicine and traditional Eastern forms of healing.

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First update from Vietnam

I’ve been here two weeks and Vietnam is better then I remembered. I started work at the HIV/AIDS clinic this week, but have also been helping out at an orphanage for children with cerebral palsy. The state of health in HCMC is pretty much what I expected, a strange combination of western medicine and local remedies all in a city that’s trying to modernize but is still stuck in the mud a bit. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of relationships I develop with the patients as I continue working.

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Getting ready

I leave for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in exactly five weeks and still have a lot to do.

Here’s a quick list:

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