Honors Students Observe Health Care in Zambia

Honors rising seniors and pre-med biology majors Kierdre McFadden and Tanner Orders spent the first part of the summer in a clinical shadowing program at Lusaka's Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Zambia. Through this unique experience, they learned how medicine and health care are practiced in Zambia.

“I was able to observe doctors from a different part of the world and learn how they apply their knowledge to perform their duties," McFadden said.

Orders described this experience as one that reinforced his passion for medicine and becoming a physician. 

Orders said, "I saw many specialties such as internal and emergency medicine, but I was by far amazed by surgery the most. I spent two full weeks observing a plethora of surgeries, including cesarian sections, hysterectomies, and compound fracture repairs."

McFadden noticed a difference in access to technology in Zambia, compared to that of the United States. She described Zambian doctors resourcefulness and their abilities.

“The doctors hardly ever complained, they instead explained how they were still able to achieve results without the equipment,” she said.

 From her experience, McFadden also gained insight into emotional intelligence and it’s application to medical care.

“It was also interesting to see the level of care that many of the patients received at the hospital,” she said.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize ones own emotions, and at the same time, empathize with the emotions of others. Through this experience, McFadden came to see how it could be applied to patient care.

“Emotional intelligence is not often taught to doctors in the United States or Zambia. After this trip I feel it is something we can all benefit from learning in medical schools throughout the world,” she said.

In addition to the clinical experience, these Honors students had the opportunity to explore Zambia's cultural heritage. They visited Victoria Falls (shown below) where they experienced baboons, zip lining and bungee jumping. Photo submitted.


"The food was far different from anything I had ever tasted and the staple, nshima, was very important to their meals. Our excursion to Rusangu University changed our perspective on college life, and the dance performance put on by the students was incredible to watch. If I had to describe the Zambian culture in one word, I would say that it is very hospitable," Orders said.

Both Orders and McFadden received funding from the Honors College in support of this life changing study abroad experience. 

Photo shows Kierdre McFadden (third from right) and Tanner Orders (far left) along with other pre-medical and pre-dental students at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Zambia. Photo submitted.

Story by Garrett Alexandrea McDowell, Ph.D.

Published: Jul 5, 2018 1:27pm