Amina Hamza, MD
Amina Hamza, MD
Resident Physician · Pittsburgh, PA

Medical service to Georgetown, Guyana

February 11th
Georgetown, Guyana

Project Description

Plan to go to Georgetown, Guyana to provide hands-on medical care in the inpatient setting at Georgetown Public Hospital, as well as provide consistent medical education to the local medicine residents and students.

I will be going with the expertise and American medical education training, so I will be working directly with the other doctors and health care providers, teaching them some systems and techniques utilized in the American system that can be applied to their patients.

I will be using the Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) for diagnosis and management of conditions - teaching the local teams this as well - which is generally more cost effective than other imaging modalities, particularly important in Georgetown, where the luxury and costs of unnecessary CT scans and X-rays cannot be afforded.

After this trip, the locals will be able to utilize techniques learned and apply them to the care of their patients, hopefully cutting down costs in the process.

Population Served

The people who will benefit from this project will be the population we will be serving in Georgetown, Guyana at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
We chose this population, first because of the poverty experienced in this region. According to the world bank, "Guyana is one of the poorest countries in South America, with 43.4% of the population living on less than $5.50 per person per day in 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)".

As such, there has been a consistent partnership between their institution (Guyana Public Hospital) and Pittsburgh, PA. It is a great educational environment and they are very interested in true cross-cultural exchange and teaching.

Additionally, the Senior Vice President and the Chief Clinical Officer of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Allegheny Health Network/Highmark Health - Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew (who is part of our institution), is developing a non-profit organization with Guyana Public Hospital to combat infant-child mortality; hence why we chose to continue working with this particular population to help build and strengthen their health system.

Expected Impact

The expected impact will be for the locals to continue to carry on techniques we teach, after our departure, to assist in decreasing costs while still providing the standard of care medical care to patients. An example will more frequent use of cost-effective POCUS.

Also, with the development of the non-profit organization that Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew plans to implement, we will continue to work closely with Georgetown Public Hospital in monitoring, preventing and combating infant and child mortality.

Trip Photos & Recap

My trip to Georgetown was very fulfilling. I was immediately incorporated into a medicine service team and worked alongside Registrars (Attending Physicians), Resident Physicians, Government Medical Officers (GMOs), Interns and Medical Students in providing care to patients. In addition to working with medicine, I also got involved with the HIV clinic, Tuberculosis (TB) ward, Malaria clinic and Respirology (Pulmonology) consults.

I was able to do some teaching to the medical students as well as the GMOs, who were very eager to learn, even after a 30-hour call shift, making the experience even more rewarding as it was given to extremely dedicated people.

My trip happened to fall during the Mashramani (republic day) and Holi celebrations, which were fun and exciting to be a part of, engrossing myself in the culture. Guyana welcomes and celebrates all ethnic groups and holidays, and I couldn't be happier serving such a diverse and inclusive community.