Reader Response: Naggalama Hospital Palliative Care Outreach Team

Written by Dr. Randi R. Diamond, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Director of the Liz Claiborne Center for Humanism in Medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center


I was delighted to read Dr. MacDougall's reflection “An Amazing First Day in Naggalama” depicting her first few days at Naggalama Hospital. Her experience, as I have heard from other visiting students and residents, fortifies my own impressions and rationale for suggesting Naggalama as a site for the UVMLCOM/WCHN Global Health Program.

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Reader Response: Knowing Your Patients’ Stories

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


I have been practicing medicine for over twenty-five years. I still study every single day, and feel as though I will never learn enough. And that's okay. As long as I can continue knowing my patients and their stories, I will continue caring for them.

Reader Response: Upenyu Hunokosha

Written by Tendai Machingaidze, Associate Site Director for Zimbabwe University


What does it mean to have the ability to save a life and not do so? In Shona, we say “Upenyu hunokosha!” Life is precious! We cannot save the world, but we can certainly save a world – we can save a mother or a father or a child, and in so doing save a family, a world. But who is doing the saving? And how is it perceived?

Reader Response: On Saving Life

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


This ethical dilemma and responses moved me to tears. However, I feel that allowing a human being to die a preventable death is not morally consistent with medical mission work. The very fact that we choose certain countries and see a limited number of patients- as many as humanly possible in the allotted time, which still leaves hundreds unattended- implies that we are already making a decision regarding the allocation of resources. To carry the argument of nonfinancial intervention is antithetical to what is already being implemented: choosing a country and a select group of patients who will receive care.

Reader Response: We Either Give Life Or We Take It

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


I think the most important word is "vulnerable." While reading this, I was thinking about the fundamental lack of acknowledgement  of each woman’s humanity. Perhaps the more appropriate word is simply humanity. While spoken language is often a barrier, there is an alternative, a universal language: smiling, holding a hand, sitting down and touching an arm, a cup of tea or glass of water…something to say, “You are not alone here. I am with you.”

Reader Response: Allowing Ourselves Grace

Written by Dr. Mahsheed Khajavi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Florida State University


I read a recent piece by Nikolas Moring on Global Diaries and was moved. I could sense that this young man was disappointed, not in his trip but in his decision to return to the United States. I believe there is a difference between the words "trip" and "journey." The former implies a start and end point, a series of expectations from others and oneself which one must fulfill, and ultimately a return.