From Elective Reviews - Uganda - Kitovu Hospital, Uganda, 2012 - David Matthew
We had a great time! Five of us stayed in the hospital accommodation and rotated around the four medical/surgical wards: general medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics & gynaecology and surgery. Working hours were quite flexible - we usually 'worked' 9am-5pm days but were free to take afternoons off when we wanted to. The doctors twice texted us to let us know that interesting surgical 'emergency' operations were taking place later in the evening, which demonstrated the close contact we made with the medical staff. Regarding 'hands-on' experience' we unfortunately were not able to do as much as I would have liked.
On the general medicine/paediatric/obstetric and gynaecology wards, a lot of our time was spent shadowing doctors eg. on ward rounds and in clinics. We learnt a lot, which was great, but I possibly would have liked to have had more experience taking histories, examining patients, taking bloods, putting in cannula's etc. However, although language barriers DID make this a bit more challenging, I should have taken more responsibility to do this MYSELF!
In the surgical theatre we often scrubbed in to assist in operations, and gained some very useful experience suturing up the surgical wounds after operations. However, unlike my sisters elective experience in Mozambique, I was not permitted to deliver a baby by myself or 'suture up' after a caesarean section.
Positives of my experience included good medical teaching, friendly staff, an enjoyable time with some really good friends from my medical school year and the 'flexible' working hours. The negatives were the slight lack of hands-on experience and the hospital costs turning out to be more expensive than we had thought.
This elective would be suitable for any medical student really...possibly not those wanting loads of surgical experience/delivering loads of babies! The elective would not be suitable for students wanting lots of hands-on medical/surgical experience. Our elective was organised directly with the hospital.
In your time off there are lots of places to visit: safari parks (Queen Elizabeth, Merchison Falls and Lake Mburo), Sesse Island, Lake Binyonyi and Kampala (the capital city).
Approximate cost £2,700.