Nichole (Seiter) Gubbins, MD
Nichole (Seiter) Gubbins, MD
Pediatrics · Houston, TX

Southeast Asia

August 18th
Luang Prabang, Laos

Project Description

This fall, I have the opportunity for 12 weeks of travel and I plan on continuing relationships and curriculums that I’ve worked on establishing over the past few years in Southeast Asia.

My first stop will be in Siem Reap Cambodia, working on pediatric curriculum development with The Lake Clinic (TLC). TLC serves the remote and isolate villages that lie on or near the Tonle Sap lake. I have made multiple trips over the past 5 years and earlier this year their founder and their medical director requested that I design and implement a continuous & rolling, pediatric-specific curriculum that will be taught bimonthly throughout the year. While working on the topics and logistics of a curriculum, I have been in communication with different foreign volunteers who have experience working with TLC and also the clinic and medical directors at TLC. I plan on using a week of my travel time to meet with the learners and directors and start the initial phase of this curriculum.

I will leave Cambodia and travel to Luang Prabang Lao PDR to work at Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC). This is a non-profit children’s hospital in the northern area of Laos. I have also worked in this hospital in the past and have been asked to provide procedural workshops and checklist for future guidance on assessing if a provider is qualified to perform the procedure independently. I will split my time between clinical mentorship and education while there for 10-11 weeks. This is a brand-new curriculum and is being developed by request of the providers and in line with the supplies available.

In both countries, my role is more than direct patient care. My role is to provide medical education to highly motivated learners. These physicians are local providers who are invested and dedicated to their work.

Population Served

Cambodia, a low income country, and Lao PDR, a lower middle income country, are both in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) western pacific region. This region has an average under 5 mortality rate of 13 per 1,000 live births. Cambodia & Lao PDR, while both improving, continue to lag behind the rest of the region with Cambodia’s under 5 mortality rate of 31 per 1,000 live births and Lao PDR has the regions highest under 5 mortality with a rate of 64 per 1,000 live births.

A history of conflict in the area, widespread poverty and remoteness of these areas have contributed to poor public health care. Children are an additionally unique and vulnerable population.

Expected Impact

By providing curriculum and procedural checklists, the secondary & tertiary effects will be seen for years to come. As international health providers, it is imperative that we leave a sustainable solution to the problems we encounter, and education is just that. Not only is the learner becoming more educated and gaining experience under a watchful eye, but their patients are receiving increased quality health care and the sharing of knowledge will allow the learner to become a teacher.

Trip Photos & Recap

Thank you Doximity for funding my trip to Southeast Asia! I spent time working on curriculum development at a non-profit children's hospital in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR! After development of the curriculum and personalization for the learners and equipment available at this hospital, I was able to teach both the Seldinger Chest Tube and Ketamine Sedation curriculums to the physicians at the hospital. Here are a few pictures from our chest tube teaching that included all hands on activities!