Adventure’s End


Well here it is: my last blog post. Four weeks have come and gone much faster than I expected and my adventures in rural Jamaica have come to an end. A heartfelt thank you to the doctors, nurses, drivers, and administrators of Port Maria, Annotto Bay, and Port Antonio hospitals. You have been so kind, welcoming, and patient while I try to navigate the intricacies of Jamaican healthcare (and insert IVs for the first time in years).

I find that practicing medicine in a developing nation always sends me home with a renewed sense of appreciation for all that we have in the developed world. When a toddler presents with failure to thrive, the first thing on your differential is not usually malnutrition, secondary to food insecurity. If a patient has a urinary tract infection, obtaining a urine culture does not depend on the family’s ability to pay 2000 Jamaican dollars to get it (equivalent to about $16 Canadian dollars which most families in this part of Jamaica cannot afford).

Here are some of my final thoughts:

1. I have become so used to being called “My Lady” by all of the resort staff that I feel like I have been living in Downton Abbey. Or Game of Thrones. Minus the killing of my favourite characters.

2. Most absurd thing I heard on the local radio station: watermelon cures asthma. (Hint: it doesn’t).

3. Most bizarre thing told to me by a parent: worms cause teeth grinding at night. (Hint: they don’t).

4. I was surprised to discover how deeply religious many of my patients are. What is the politically correct response when a grateful mother wishes you “a blessed day” as she walks out the door? You too?

5. Infection Prevention & Control nightmare of the week: when the asthmatic with recurrent scabies was in the bed next to the infant with pertussis. (I seemed to be the only person concerned about this).

6. Couples Resort Tower Isle is the best all-inclusive resort I have ever been to. The beach, the food, and the staff are phenomenal. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in visiting Jamaica. (I would also recommend bringing your significant other to avoid the awkwardness that is being the only solo person at an all couples resort).

7. I think I have listened to a lifetime’s worth of reggae and Bob Marley.

And last but not least, a big thank you to the wonderful Diane Pollard who made this experience possible! I have highly enjoyed my adventures in rural Jamaica and look forward to returning some day as a staff Pediatrician.

(Final) Favourite Food of the Day: Curry coconut seafood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *