My short term clerkship in Vila Central Hospital in Vanuatu
I did the clerkship in Vila central hospital for 6 weeks because I’m interested in working in the developing countries like MSF (doctors without boarder).
At first, I’ll tell about Vanuatu. Vanuatu is located in the tropical area, just between Solomon Islands and Fiji. They speak Bislama, which is the official language of Vanuatu, but most of the local people can speak English well since ruled by UK and France in the past. Due to that, almost all of them are religious Christian. Every Sunday, my host family went to the church to pray. I followed them twice, and I found a lot of people gathered there, praying and singing songs. Anyway, they are so religious.
Then, I’ll tell about the practice. Vila central hospital is the largest and most sophisticated hospital in Vanuatu. Therefore, all the patients from all the area of Vanuatu come here if they are severe or untreatable in the clinic or dispensary. Vanuatu has no medical school, so all the doctors graduated from medical school in other countries, or came from other countries like Australia, New Zealand, and so on. That’s why they are busy every day. Actually, the number of the doctors is not enough, so registered nurses were working like a doctor. For example, when a patient come to the emergency room, the registered nurse do everything like primary survey, taking history, prescribing medicine, order the examination, and finally, decide whether to admit or not. This is in fact the emergency doctor’s job, but here, they have to do it because of the lack of doctors.
Because of the lack of doctor, they let me do a lot of things that I think I can’t do in Japan. For instance, I did a checkup and bloods taking to a new born baby in the maternity ward, and do the same thing the registered nurses do in the emergency room. In the pediatric clinic, they let me do all the jobs by myself, which was from taking history to prescribe medicine and admit patients. This was so impressive because it was what I had really wanted to do. I have a dream of working in the developing countries, and it was almost the same situation, so I was very satisfied that I was able to communicate with patients in English as well as experience a lot of cases and learn a lot of medical knowledge, especially tropical medicine.
While I learned a lot in the hospital, I also found a lot of interesting thing outside the hospital. I stayed with host family, so I learned a lot of cultural things. Local foods, various kinds of creatures, beautiful sea, old and big trees, religious and friendly people, everything is so nice and interesting. Every day was full of discovery for me.
If I have the opportunity to study abroad again, I will never miss it because I know it will give me a lot of things. These are not just only the knowledge, but also friends, experience, and an opportunity to grow. I recommend you to study abroad if you are interested in, even if you are worried.