On 8th August 2012, I will be boarding a plane to Lusaka, Zambia.
On 7th August 2013, I will be returning to work as a doctor in the UK.
Everything in between is unwritten.
What do I know so far? I will be working as a General Medical Officer at St Francis Hosital, a 350-bed hospital in rural Zambia. I will be responsible for an adult medical ward as well as getting involved with paediatrics. I will also share the workload of the Tuberculosis clinic, HIV clinic and general outpatient clinics. Evening, weekend and night shifts will be shared equally amongst the doctors present. How many other doctors are there? Who knows? It appears that this number is in constant flux as people come and go. Let’s hope for a gentle induction with plenty of seasoned doctors to show me the Katete ropes!
I will be living on the hospital site in a ‘house’ with my husband Will. Chipata, the nearest town with a supermarket and bank, is about an hour away. One of the most spectacular national parks in Africa (South Luangwa National Park) is only 3-4 hours drive away… If I can’t find my wildlife photographer husband when I get home at the end of the day, there’s a high chance he’s there! I have been informed that the cockroaches are large and offensive, the sun is intense and the wet season epic. Malaria is endemic. TB and HIV rife.
That is about all that I know at present.
I’m expecting to work hard under challenging conditions. But I am hoping to learn a great deal, to grow as a doctor, and to leave in August 2013 with memories to cherish forever. I really can’t wait for my Zambian adventures to unfold…