On Wednesday, July 29, 2015...

It has been extremely fascinating to observe the two different hospitals over the last two months. There is a distinct difference in attitude and expectations among both physicians and patients at each hospital. At Red Cross, a tertiary facility, there are more noteworthy cases seen and the emphasis seems to be much more on teaching, researching, and simply healing more complicated cases. This could also be just my observation of the particular department I was in. However, at Victoria, a district level facility, I have been highly impressed with the bedside manner of the physicians. Many patients here come from various degrees of poverty, but almost all are from townships and are exposed to conditions and a lifestyle that make avoiding the problems of TB and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) difficult. I have been impressed by how physicians here treat and relate to such patients and really break the art of medicine down for them. They have also taught me well and have been more than happy to answer any and all questions I have, which has been greatly appreciated.

I have also grown quite comfortable with my host family and host community. It has been a wonderful experience to see how the majority of people in Cape Town live. It is interesting to live a relatively simpler lifestyle with such a bustling city not so far away. That dichotomy also has implications for poverty and segregation. I have never really felt unsafe, but we certainly stand out. That being said, Cape Town is honestly one of the friendlier cities I have been to. When I am on the train or bus, I feel as though I can ask anyone for help.


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