I was posted at Namatanai Hospital in New Ireland Province from August to December 2015 on a program sponsored by Newcrest Mining. The local staff I worked with amazed me with their ability to work so hard with so few resources, and yet at the same time, achieved so much.
Dashlyn Chee, Chief Health Extension Officer at Namatani Hospital, and her husband, Dr Penny Charles, greatly value the support that ADI provides. In addition to their direct clinical and administrative duties, they have a large teaching responsibility with a regular rotation of student health workers. We had a group of eight new students and four Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) join us.
The RMOs are Port Moresby trained doctors who work for two years post-graduation under supervision and then do a rural placement at the end of their residency here in our hospital.
They were all young and keen to learn. I was impressed to see all four RMOs come in together for their nights and weekends on-call, when only one of them at a time is actually required. I acted as back-up to their on-call duty and ward rounds on Saturday and Sunday and they all come in, such is their commitment to learning. I reflect on my days as a medical student and then as a young hospital doctor and have no memory of being as dedicated to learn as these young people. It is a humbling experience and makes the job worthwhile.
The teaching and mentoring of both the medical students and RMOs was one of the most rewarding parts of my work, as I feel that the training I provided is contributing towards an improved health system which should be sustainable in the long term. Delivering two healthy breech twins was another special moment! ”