by Abena A-Tuffour from the Global Health Office of Anesthesia
Try and learn the language. Aim for quality over quantity. Be prepared to ‘look a fool’. These are a few of the lessons Dr. Sarah Hodges has learned while working in Uganda. Dr. Hodges, a UK-trained anesthesiologist, presented at the 2011 Anesthesia in Challenging Environments Global Outreach Course for the first time. Her presentation aimed to stimulate discussion about why people want to work abroad and how best to approach such missions.
So was the nature of the course: honest, social and packed with demonstrations and practical advice on practicing and teaching anesthesia in challenging environments.
The four-day course, held May 21 – 25, brought together 25 presenters and 35 participants from the UK, the US, Uganda, Indonesia, New Zealand and Canada. One repeat participant and presenter described some of the presentations as “a wake-up call.” Lauren Zolpys, a 2nd year Dalhousie Anesthesia resident appreciated the insight and examples given that could not be found in a textbook. “The best part has been the practical knowledge shared.”
Dr. Tom Coonan, Dalhousie University Department of Anesthesia, heads the Anesthesia in Challenging Environments Global Outreach Course. His efforts and those of the course organizing committee, the Department of Anesthesia’s Office of Education and the Global Health Office of Anesthesia, resulted in a course that some presenters and repeat participants described as “the best so far.”