Holy Child Students Attend the Advanced Medical and Public Health Summit at Georgetown University
This summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Advanced Medical and Public Health Summit at Georgetown University, along with quite a few other Holy Child students.
The program, headed by Leadership Initiatives, was a very unique experience since we were able to engage in real world issues. We spent the week learning about the four most prevalent diseases in the developing world: malaria, typhoid fever, acute respiratory infections (ARI), and nutritional anemia. To actively practice and put our newfound knowledge to the test, each student would have the chance to diagnose a patient in Nigeria in real time using Oculus Rift Technology.
Throughout the week, with the official diagnosis day on Thursday looming over our heads, we were in and out of lecture halls, getting certified in CPR, AED, and First Aid, visiting the National Museum of Health and Medicine, touring Howard University’s new simulation clinic, and learning about the medical field from professionals in surgery, public health, neuroscience, and more.
The many hours spent reviewing symptoms, treatments, and preventions of the four diseases was all put to the test on diagnosis day. In a dorm room at Georgetown University, I put on the oculus rift goggles and was immediately transported to a clinic in Nigeria. I had 180-degree vision of the clinic as I spoke to both doctor and patient. I asked the patient questions, who responded, and that was when I realized that this was no longer about the charts and memorization, it was about someone’s life. The three minutes that it took me to diagnose felt like hours. Did I ask for the temperature? Did I request a blood smear? Should I run a hemoglobin test? How do doctors do this without their textbooks? I was overcome with both relief and shock when I exited the room, completely taken aback that I had just diagnosed a patient across the world. The experience was humbling but equally eye opening to a new world of interest in medicine. I took away a new interest in public health and international relations that I would not have known about without this program.
I was so inspired by the program that I applied to the International Business Internship Program (also headed by Leadership Initiatives), and formed a group of HC girls to work with business partners in Nigeria to improve the quality of life in certain areas. Two months ago, my main focus was on diseases, and now it is on the need for power generators in schools, hospitals, homes, and workplaces in Nigeria.
This experience expanded my horizons and provided me with incredible opportunities to make a difference in the world.
Written by: Cara Price '19