I am an internal medicine – pediatrics resident in my final year of training. During my time in Kampala, I will be working alongside students from Makerere University College of Health Sciences, as well as residents and attendings on the inpatient pediatric and adult wards. My primary duties will include patient care and bidirectional education. In addition to participating in journal clubs, case presentations, and bedside teaching, I plan to lead an educational initiative about point-of-care ultrasound to inform inpatient medical management (e.g., volume status assessment, evaluation of pleural effusions). Through collaboration with my Ugandan colleagues, the goal of this initiative is to build capacity and integrate ultrasound skills into daily patient rounds to improve diagnostic accuracy.
I will be primarily serving the inpatient pediatric and adult patient populations at Mulago National Referral Hospital, which is the largest hospital in Uganda with approximately 1,500 total beds. The hospital sees an average of 60,000 emergency department visits each year.
The aim of this project is to work alongside Ugandan healthcare staff to provide quality patient care, as well as contribute to the education of medical professionals in training. I believe the relationships formed during the trip, as well as the clinical knowledge and skills shared, will improve patient care and contribute immensely to professional and personal growth for myself and my team members in Kampala. I hope to collaborate with my colleagues in Uganda in the future on ultrasound training and on additional projects. The clinical experience gained on this trip will also benefit my future patients, as I’ll be working as a rural Med-Peds hospitalist in the U.S. and internationally.
During my time at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, I conducted multiple teaching sessions on point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for medical trainees. The sessions included demonstrations of different ultrasound machine settings and modes, ultrasound technique, patient positioning, image interpretation, and troubleshooting. Participants were able to practice using the ultrasound machine for vascular and soft tissue imaging, pulmonary ultrasound, abdominal ultrasound, and cardiac ultrasound. The sessions were well received, and afterwards, resources were provided for the medical trainees to pursue further reading. Multiple colleagues mentioned to me their interest in buying a Butterfly handheld ultrasound machine to take with them to smaller hospitals in their future practice.
I believe this project has made POCUS were accessible for Ugandan physicians, and I hope that it becomes more integrated into daily patient care as a way to increase diagnostic accuracy with less exposure to radiation and less cost to patients. I also hope the teaching sessions served to inspire physicians at Mulago to teach their peers and continue learning!