International Internship in Arusha, Tanzania
This summer I had the privilege of participating in an internship through Princeton’s International Internship Program (IIP) in Arusha, Tanzania, a bustling city in Eastern Africa. I worked in Levolosi Hospital, a public clinic in the city’s center meant to be accessible to low-income residents. However, this clinic constantly faced a lack of basic supplies, such as syringes and sterile gauze, so some other interns and I organized a fundraiser in order to purchase and supply the hospital with basic supplies such as syringes, scalpels, gauze, local anesthetic, and antiseptic to provide adequate care to patients.
While the departments in the clinic included maternity, dentistry, consultation, and others, I spent my two month placement mainly in the minor surgery room, which primarily received patients for same-day procedures including suturing, circumcisions, and wound cleaning/dressing. Typically I would shadow and assist the doctor in charge of the theater through tasks such as preparing instruments for procedures, operating the autoclave to sterilize instruments, and cleaning/dressing wounds. During the 8-week internship, I was also invited to observe major surgeries such as Caesarean sections as well as witness live births in the maternity ward.
Moreover, I also spent time during the internship to interact with the locals of the country. For example, I was able to volunteer at Frui
tful Orphanage, located in the outskirts of the city, where I helped with tasks such as shoveling gravel and moving logs for firewood as well as playing with children.
Overall, by participating in this internship I am more determined to pursue medicine, with the possibility of working or volunteering abroad. It has also cultivated skills in communication and cultural relativism, and a desire for service.