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Annika in South Africa

Week 5-Phillipi

It was no exciting to finally be able to get back to the clinic after a two weeks off for vac and exam preparation. I was even more excited when I found out that I was going to be paired with a sixth year medical student. South Africans become general practitioners after six years, so this meant that the student I was with would be a certified M.D. in two months. There was an insane amount of international students with us tonight, which one the one hand is a great […]

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Week 4-Masi

I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to go to the clinic after an armed robbery of SHAWCO volunteers in Khayelitsha the week before, but we received news that we would still be able to attend clinics. I arrived at the bus tonight at 6pm as usual, hoping to have some interesting patients. I didn’t even realize until we were on the road that I had gotten on the bus that goes to Masiphumelele, a township in Fish Hoek. It was one of the most beautiful drives I’ve had […]

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Week One-Khayelitsha

Tonight was my first night working at the clinic in Khayelitsha, and I was looking forward to getting to see if I liked the work. On my way home from my last class, I got a message from my mom saying I needed to call her. She told me that my grandma had passed away that morning. I felt so awful and disconnected from home at that time, but made the decision to still go to the clinic. I figured it would keep mind busy and prevent me from sitting […]

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Week 3-Philippi

After taking one week off from the clinic to celebrate Women’s Day, I was feeling very anxious to get back to it. I decided to try out another night and ended up going to a different clinic than the one I’d been going to in Khayelitsha. This clinic was in Philippi, and instead of being a building was a trailer that had been transformed into a makeshift clinic. We didn’t have a lot of fourth years, so I ended up with a third year medical student in a cubicle. I […]

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Week Two-Khayelitsha

My second week working for SHAWCO Health, I felt less anxious about going and more excited to get to the clinic. I was hoping to have more exciting cases and learn more that night. We went through the same process of loading onto the buses and driving to the township. It was warmer this week, so we had a lot of patients to get through. Luckily, there were a lot of students there to help that night, so we were able to run all of the cubicles and have extra […]

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