Sounds of Haiti

There is always humming from somewhere. It is usually low and musical as patients try to distract themselves from phantom limb pain that is not at all phantom. 

It is 13 days after the earthquake. I am coordinating a 12-member team at St. Marc’s hospital, a government facility on the west coast of Haiti. For the 2 years prior to the quake, Partners in Health has supported the site with materials and salary. An orthopedic surgeon, a plastic surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an emergency room physician and five nurses are with me from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. (more…)

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Meet the Fellows: Dr. Varun Verma

Varun Verma, MD is a Clinical Fellow in the Global Health-Hospital Medicine Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. His interest in global health equity stems from childhood trips visiting his grandparents in India – where he witnessed tremendous inequality due to socioeconomic disparities and was disturbed by devastation caused by treatable diseases. (more…)

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Finding Humor in Language Barriers

In Liberia, the English language is like a child who emigrated young to the West Coast of Africa and comes of age with all kinds of personality. It sounds and feels entirely different than the family it came from. The English of Liberia resembles his uncle in the United States, but louder, swallowing the ends of his sentences with increased spunk. It is like an excited adolescent that doesn’t bother with formalities and knocks off letters it doesn’t need, but says exactly what he means, with ingenuity and efficiency. At turns, spitfire or sweet depending on what the occasion calls for. (more…)

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