Here in Kenya, the academic year goes from January-January, so last week we had our annual Intern Graduation here at Tenwek. While we were all here for last year's graduation, most of us had just started working and so didn't really know the graduating class. This year, however, we had all been able to work with and get to know each of the 16 graduating interns, making last Saturday a special day for us. Most days in the hospital our primary role is not necessarily patient care, but instead educating and supervising the interns on how to provide better patient care. It was not what we expected before arriving at Tenwek, but has been an awesome experience for us. Now, even though the McCropders will depart Tenwek in the next 6-8 months, there are 16 young Kenyans who will be able to provide better care for their fellow countrymen, in part because we helped to train them. It's a great multiplication principle.
The Kenyan medical system has 2 different "arms." 10 of our interns had graduated from medical school before doing their 1 yr internship at Tenwek, and will now be posted to various government hospital around Kenya. 6 of our interns had graduated from a training program like PA school before coming here, and all of them will be staying at Tenwek to help in the outpatient department. It's been fun watching them improve in their clinical and procedural skills since arriving.
The graduation itself was a nice meal and some speeches (less exciting than last year where some of the open flames provided to keep the food warm "exploded" and set someone's dress on fire...no worries, no one was hurt), followed by the interns receiving white coats and diplomas. Here's Jason putting a white coat on Damaris, who will actually be joining the PAACS surgical residency program here next month.
And finally a group shot of the interns and consultants/attendings (Rachel is absent because she got called away to deliver a baby):
Congrats to all the interns! We look forward to being a part of many similar ceremonies in the years to come.