I am grateful to have experienced and felt true American life. The organization arranged a very nice house for us close to the hospital with a nice friend from the Dominican Republic with whom we shared and exchanged our cultures. I had a warm dinner with Ms. Lennon’s family for Thanksgiving, a New Year party at Dr. Winter’s home, and a meeting night with international friends at Dr. Sadigh’s home. Everyone was always beside us to help, to share, and to teach. We traveled to some famous places and saw many things. I not only learned about the English language, but also about culture and communication skills, thereby gaining a greater understanding of Americans and of the United States.
Two things struck me about the hospital. First, while medical care is very expensive, the quality of care is very high. Human values are cherished. Patients are cared for as if by their family members. The pain and anxiety of loss is understood and shared. Second, protection of environmental resources and prevention of pollution are part of the consciousness of every individual. Better use of antibiotics in the community is very useful for the treatment of infections, nosocomial pneumonia patients are almost rare in my time here. This reflects the success of a community, of a medical collective rather than an individual.
I have gained improved medical knowledge and thinking skills during my time in the United States. Professionalism does not require a thorough understanding of everything, but rather a attentive investigation and careful use of all resources to best treat the patient. The endeavor may or may not be successful, but that is all we have. I am thankful for Dr. Winter and Dr. Scatena who taught me important reasoning skills, and for the fellows and resident physicians. Witnessing the devotion of nurses and respiratory technicians helped me understand the full meaning of the intensive care unit. Nursing care plays an important role in determining the success of patient treatment. The careful, meticulous work of nurses and technicians greatly minimizes risks for ventilated patients.
I am also grateful for Dr. Shahid, Dr. Sanderson, and Dr. Batson for imparting knowledge of neurosurgery that will be useful in my practice. I learned many lessons about the prevention of the spread of pathogens from observing the work of sanitation workers. There are differences that stem from the living habits that differ between Americans and Vietnamese, aside from economic conditions, rendering the remedy a difficult problem.
I would like to thank to all members of the global health program for the opportunities, exposure, and experience I had in a public hospital where I saw medical conditions close to that of my own society, and learned not to become lost upon return.