Elective Rotation: Project Medishare
Contact: Nicole Cory Baltrushes
Location: Port au Prince, Haiti
Project Medishare, an affiliate of the University of Miami, runs one of the few critical care hospitals in Port au Prince, Haiti. It is staffed by Haitian doctors and nurses but also relies heavily on teams of international volunteer doctors, nurses, EMTs, respiratory therapists, etc. The hospital consists of a small ER that sees a heavy trauma load with gunshots, MVAs, and polytrauma, as well as your average ER complaints. It also has a small 4 bed ICU with 3 ventilators ( there are only a handful of vents in all of Haiti), an 8 bed medical unit, a 7 bed spinal cord injury rehab unit, an a small general peds ward, PICU, and NICU.
As a volunteer you are assigned shifts in the ICU, medical ward, and the ER. You work 6 days of a week and shifts are generally 8-12 hours. You work alongside volunteer and Haitian docs. There is an element of teaching involved when working with the Haitian physicians, as many of them chose to work at the facility because of the constant stream of Internationally trained physicians.
It was a troubling and rewarding experience. I would recommend it for those interested in ER, Global health disparities, and hospital based medicine.
There is a second site in the central plateau that is more outpt based that may be available for rotation upon request.