Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Mongolian Thoughts... Still Just Me

Still bored in Seoul.. Still blogging about my trip..

In Mongolia, I gave several talks to the neonatal division, sort of small informal teaching sessions on very specific talks.  These talks pretty much took up the majority of my last 3 mornings at the hospital.  We covered basic neonatal topics like infection control, fluids and electrolytes, feedings, basic management of patients with gastroschisis.  It was remarkable to have dialogue with the Mongolian team to learn what they do well, to add insight where I had it.  It was those exchanges where I felt I had the most opportunity to make an impact.  In the afternoon, we did big lectures for the whole hospital.  I gave two with the help of Monica, the neonatal nurse who was with us. None of this teaching would have been posisble without the help of our Mongolian translators.  My main translator was a neonatology resident who studied English for only 6 months.  Her English was great and she seemed to really enjoy the experience. I am in awe at how well many of the Mongolians speak English.

Monica and I, and the Mongolian neonatal physicians.

The last day we were there I was giving a talk on "The Transition and Disorders of the Transition." I was making my case to my colleagues that the transition from fetal to neonatal life is the most important transition in life.  Not sure I convinced them, but alas I digress again.  After my talk I was introduced to a neonatologist from the Mongolian countryside who had travelled 6 hours by train to hear my talks.  Humbled, I shook her hand and listened to her stories of medicine in the countryside of Mongolia.  I couldn't believe that she had gone to such efforts to hear me, me.  I am no one, just a doctor in LA trying my best. Yet she travelled for hours to hear me.  Wow!!  With a double dose of wow.

A guy I used to have thing with delights in commenting about how I remind him of how trivial his job is,  (Maybe why things would have never worked out there) but more to the point, I have never considered myself as extra ordinary.  I'm just me, the same girl I was 20 years ago just with more grey hairs and wrinkles in my skin.  As I have progressed in my career, I have always seemed the same, from the inside looking out.  I still have my idealistic side even if it does become ever more jaded and is now balanced by some skill in my profession.  I was awed by this women's desire to go to such exremes to meet me, me. I hope I didn't disappoint.


Julia said...

You are amazing and special and inspiring beyond belief! Thanks for sharing your beautiful experiences in Mongolia!

the slackmistress said...

I like to think of it as PERSPECTIVE. Out here in LA especially, people get REALLY wrapped up in certain things. Every so often I turn to someone having a tantrum and remind them that we are making entertainment. Not curing cancer.

Perspective is good.

Miss you!


Kim Tracy Prince said...

You ARE the same old you from when you were 20. Boy, could I tell stories...

...but you are also amazing. Keep it up.

Dr. Lisa said...

Perspective IS always good.