Panama 2014

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Location: Multiple clinics with Floating Doctors

How long was the ultrasound-related portion of your trip? 4-8 weeks

How many UCI medical students were a part of your team? 9

Activities:

Did you conduct ultrasound research? If so, what type? Ultrasound education/training, Prevalence study

When was your first team meeting to plan for your trip? 1/4/14

When did your group submit their IRB? 3/10/2014

How many abstracts did your group (in total) submit to the World Congress in Ultrasound Medical Education Conference in Portland this year? 4

Which conferences? AAMC Annual Meeting
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

What types of clinical activities did you participate in aside from ultrasound? Shadowing (medicine), Patient intake (interview, vitals, preparation to see provider), Patient diagnosis (clinical tests, labs, or evaluations), Patient ultrasound (not related to research or educational training)

Logistics:

Who set-up your living arrangements for the ultrasound portion of your trip? The organization/institution I volunteered/worked for

How much did you pay for your living accommodations (total)? $1000-$1099

How much did your roundtrip airfare cost? $600-999

Did the funds from UCI SOM for international summer travel cover your total airfare and accommodations (not including food) for the ultrasound portion of your trip? No

If not, how much extra did you pay out of pocket? $300-599

How many UCI SOM ultrasound machines did your group check out? 4

How many non-UCI SOM ultrasound machines did your group use on your trip? 2

Where did any non-UCI machines come from? Floating Doctors organization

How long did it take you to pack (approximately)? 5-12 hrs

Any additional ultrasound supplies or resources your team would have liked? Water proof bags or pelican cases to carry machines in. Portable battery powered chargers for the machines. Materials to donate (ie. old machines, probes, books on ultrasound) – understandably hard to do but would have been nice!

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently on your trip?

I would have established more formal meetings with my group once we were in Panama to facilitate communication, get us on the same page, and use our resources and time as effectively as possible. I would have also brought more supplies for the parteras (midwives) we were training. I would also have blogged more to create better awareness of the project and to have a written memory to look back on.

9 is a large number of people to organize and it was sometimes difficult to come to agreements because there were so many of us, so while we had the manpower, I think a smaller group is easier to manage, I think 6 is ideal.

One of our studies required a little bit of a different format in clinic. I would change the way we did that study. Other than that, no!

Recommendations for those going to the same place next summer:

1) establish formal meetings with your group once you are there in Panama,
2) bring more partera supplies (make enough kits for 20-30 parteras),
3) blog at least once per week (if not more),
4) don’t promise donors a ton of stuff back, just promise something simple like a thank you video (and send the same one to everyone). It getsreally complicated if you offer a bunch of different things and the donors are going to donate anyways, they aren’t going to donate based on your incentives.

Bring dry-bags for any electronics, bring quick-dry underwear, and definitely get a hammock with a built-in mosquito net. Also if you don’t handle little sleep well, buy a more expensive and more comfortable hammock. Definitely also bring bug spray, and tevas/chocos are a must.

– Keep your studies simple!
– Bring more prenatal kits with some different supplies than what we brought this year.
– Make sure your studies are flexible
– Bring Pelican cases for the ultrasound machines
– Think about starting some sort of social medicine project. More of like a questionnaire to get some data on the population we were serving
– I probably have more, I just can’t think of them right now

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