INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE REPORT

Name of Organization: AMSA
Location (city, country): Everest Region, Nepal
Dates of your attendance: October 1-30, 2000

Purpose of site institution (3-4 words):

visit local medical clinics

Is there a language requirement? If so, state language: No

Activities available:

Patient care

Opportunities appropriate for:

pre-clinical students
clinical students

  1. Please describe your activities while abroad (eg, seeing patients, clinical research, public health project, etc.):
    There were 15 of us, all either premed or medical students, who went on the AMSA Study Tour to Nepal. Really, our trip was split into two parts, one in kathmandu and the other trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas. In Kathmandu, we visited numerous health
    clinics and hospitals ranging from a local Tibetan Herbal medicine clinic, to an Ayurvedic Hospital, to the University Teaching Hospital, among others.

    While trekking, we visited two clinics along the trekking route from Lukla to Kala Pattar (our destination at approx. 18,500 ft). The two clinics (the Himalayan Rescue Association Outpost in Pheriche and the Kunde Valley medical clinic) were similar in that they mainly catered to Westerners who suffered from various forms of Acute Mountain Sickness. They also had some resources set aside for care of the people of the local villages. Upon returning back to Kathmandu after a 19 day trek, we were given the chance to work a four day rotation at whichever hospital/clinic of our choice and we were escorted by the local medical students in Nepal.

  2. Please describe the range of activities available, in addition to yours:
    Trekking, lots and lots of trekking. Visiting monuments, temples, meeting other travellers. Losing lots of weight.

  3. Would you recommend this institution to other Penn medical students? Why?
    Yes definitely. This was a trip, in my opinion, for those people who have essentially been pretty burnt out after having gone through several years of medical school. Many of the students were either in the third or fourth year who just needed a break. The 19 day trek allowed each of us to either conteplate to ourselves or talk to one another about what things are going on in our lives in the present moment.

    Myself, I found direction of where I wanted to take my life and career. There is no better place than having the backdrop of the tallest mountain on the earth. Plus, you can get academic credit for it.

  4. What did you not like?
    There wasn't too much patient contact. We were mainly visiting many different clinics in and about Kathmandu. Because our schedule was dominated by our long trek, we had the opportunity to work in a clinic of our choice for only four days. For most people, this may not have been enough patient contact.

  5. Is there an application process for this institution? How does one arrange a visit? Are there important dates to know about?
    The application process is through the AMSA and can be downloaded on-line at www.amsa.org. Look there for deadline dates, but they were about 6 months in advance. I believe the next trip will start next April 2002.

  6. What costs were associated with the trip, other than transportation. Please include institutional fees, housing costs, food, etc.:
    $2400 land cost while there including most hotels, food, tents, porters, yaks, flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. $1500 Flight ticket. You must have your own clothing and hiking which will vary in cost depending on what you may already own.

  7. Did you receive funding for this trip? If so, from whom and for how much? Please provide important information, such as contacts, application procedure, and due dates:
    Nope. Student loans baby. Gaye Sheffler is really helpful on this one. But I did hear that another med student from another school somehow got a drug company to help pay for his trip.

  8. Would you agree to be contacted by other students interested in this site? If so, please give your name and contact information:
    Bob Wong
    Email: robertwo@mail.med.upenn.edu

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