June 2014 Experiences – Preparation 1

Jamaica! I can easily say that the Pediatrics rotation here was one of the best months during my residency. Looking back on my short time on the island, the one thing I remember and miss the most is the friendliness of the people. Issa Trust does an incredible job in coordinating and organizing these volunteer opportunities, which is no small feat when we cross country lines. The places we work at appreciate having assistance from the volunteer physicians and also guide us when needed about how to work in a completely different and new environment. When I first started thinking of packing for my Jamaica trip, I was worried about how the rotation will go. I am the first person from my residency program to have opted for this elective, and hence had no peer guidance available. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I would say that the guide that Ms Pollard sends you is pretty accurate about what to expect. Start planning a few months in advance. Go through the guide at one go, make mental or paper notes for yourself. If you are in a time crunch, use a notepad-like app on your smart phone – this keeps a packing and reminder list handy to add on to whenever you are inspired. I found this to be the most convenient way. Make sure you read the PDF again 1-2 weeks prior to departure, to go through the travel tips. The blog also offers a wealth of information. Once I started reading it, I could not stop. I wanted to know more, as most of it is practical and gives a good idea of what to expect in the clinical realm.

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