Alexandra Lloyd-Smith's Experience

Perspectives of an NYU Neurology Resident

 

The opportunity to practice neurology at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda was life changing and will have an everlasting positive effect on my career as a neurologist. Mulago is Uganda’s national referral hospital. Patients from each corner of the country travel by various means of transportation for neurological evaluation. Together with their families and friends, they carry basic personal belongings including bed sheets and utensils in preparation for their admission. Everyone was unique and had beautiful life stories to share.

The spectrum of disease and pathology was vast. Preventable conditions such as hypertensive intracranial hemorrhages, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS with fatal opportunistic infections served as a reminder of significant medical advancements within primary care in developed countries. The limited health care resources available emphasized the need for cost conscious care, an important component of medicine in today’s world. Constant reminders of patient’s need to pay out of pocket for the most basic medications and diagnostic investigations made it so we were careful in balancing essential clinical care while being mindful of how results would change management.

My experience treating patients on the wards gave me time for reflection about how we can improve our own health care system. One of the beauties of medicine is that it transcends all geographical barriers – I am forever grateful to NYU Neurology department for supporting my first global neurology experience.

Alexandra Lloyd-Smith, MD, MSc - Neurology Resident PGY-3