Residents travel to Zambia, South Africa to participate in global health program

Photo of
CA3 resident, Dr. Erica Janz at UTH in Luska.
A photo of doctors in the hospital hallway.
Drs. Michael Gyorfi, Erica Janz, and Sylvia Rakke, and Joel Johnson University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

In January 2024, CA3 residents Michael Gyorfi, Erica Janz, and Sylvia Rakke joined faculty Joel Johnson as a part of the Global Academic Anesthesia Consortium (GAAC) program at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa.

Their time teaching and delivering anesthesia in Lusaka, Zambia, profoundly shaped their professional and personal journey. The experience in a resource-limited setting proved both humbling and enlightening, as they endeavored to introduce epidurals at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) to broaden patient options, particularly in obstetric care.

“The lessons learned in Lusaka extend far beyond the realms of anesthesia, serving as a reminder of the universal qualities that bind us together.” – Michael Gyorfi

Navigating the scarcity of medical supplies required ingenuity, yet they managed to make a tangible, real-time impact by teaching regional anesthesia despite logistical challenges. Advocating for alternative approaches, such as nerve blocks for a critically ill elderly patient, underscored the necessity of adaptability in low- and middle-income countries.

Photo of residents with baby elephant.
Residents pose for photos while on safari.

Interacting with the resilient people of Lusaka underscored the human spirit amidst daily hardships. Empowering local healthcare professionals and witnessing their progress instilled a sense of collaboration and shared purpose.

Photo of simulated medical ultrasound.
Dr. Michael Gyorfi, CA-3 Resident, is leading simulations with UTH participants.

The residents’ journey to Zambia revealed unforeseen challenges and highlighted the resourcefulness and dedication of the local population. Despite the resource limitations at UTH, the healthcare team delivered compassionate care, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and efficiency.

Returning to a well-resourced environment starkly contrasted with their experiences, prompting a newfound appreciation for resourcefulness, collaboration, and minimizing waste in healthcare practices.

Thank you to the author of this post, Angie Womble, GME Program Manager.