Coming to Good Shepherd Hospital (GSH) is a life-changing experience. Your visit to the country of Eswatini (former Swaziland), situated in Southern Africa, will lead to a better understanding of the beauty as well as the hardships that exist in this small Kingdom. GSH will give you a different perspective on medicine. At times, you may be shocked at what you see; however, you will gain an appreciation for what can be achieved without the resources so freely available in first world countries. There is no doubt that your time in Eswatini will challenge as well as enrich you. Take the time to listen to the thoughts and views of the Swazi people. There is a lot to learn from sharing in another culture as well as listening to others’ life stories.
You are given plenty of autonomy regarding how you use your time at GSH. It will be up to you and the other elective students to choose in which departments you would like to work. The hospital has the following departments: outpatient department, general surgery, paediatrics, gynaecology & obstetrics, eye clinic, HIV clinic and home based care. Students also spend some of their time at another small clinic 25 min from GSH called Ebenezer. Every Tuesday morning at 08h45 all students and visiting doctors meet with Dr Pons to discuss interesting cases and challenges from the previous week. At the Tuesday meetings you can run your plans for the week by Dr Pons and get his thoughts. If possible, it is worthwhile staying in each department for two weeks. Relationships are incredibly important in Eswatini; you want to have time to build relationships with the doctors and nurses in a team. For this reason it is recommended to have an elective with a duration of 4-8 weeks.
This elective is a great opportunity to learn about and contribute to health in the developing world. There are many areas which require constant funding and new equipment. It is highly encouraged that students contribute to the improvement of the hospital by partaking in a legacy project.
If you are interested in an elective at GSH please contact Dr. Jonathan Pons (ophthalmologist at GSH): firstname.lastname@example.org