Posted By Dr. Neil Shocket, Project HOPE Volunteer on October 31, 2012

Labels: Ghana , Health Systems Strengthening, Volunteers

Dr. Neil Shocket, an emergency physician at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Los Angeles and his wife, Lori Justice-Shocket who is  completing medical school this year are participating in a month-long volunteer mission with Project HOPE in Ghana as part of the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative.  The Shockets reside in Agoura Hills, California. 

Volunteer Dr. Shocket Mentors Ghanaian Emergency Room Residents

My wife Lori and I arrived in Accra for a month-long volunteer mission with Project HOPE, as part of the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative. The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is a new building and from the outside can easily be compared to any hospital in the U.S. The Emergency/Accident department, which is to be our home for the next four weeks, is large and very busy.

Upon arriving, we were introduced to the director of the department, Dr. George Oduro who gave us a thorough tour of the entire hospital and introduced us to the emergency doctor(ED) residents and charge nurses.  

We also learned a bit about how the hospital works. 

All patients at the hospital enter through the triage room, where each one is evaluated using the “South African Triage System.” The emergency department is split into three treatment areas: yellow, orange and red.  After patients go through triage, they are taken to one of these areas based on the seriousness of their illness. Patients who go to yellow are to be seen within four hours; patients who go to orange are seen within 30 minutes and those who go to red are critical cases that are seen immediately.

Volunteer Dr. Shocket Mentors Ghanaian Emergency Room Residents

Resident educational conferences are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. On Thursday morning, I gave my first lecture on Foodborne Illnesses. I think it went well and the residents were receptive.  

So far I have found this to be an excellent experience and I am excited to be part of the emergency medicine residency training at KATH.  I am confident that the quality of emergency medical training that the ED residents receive is of high quality. They definitely know the principles of patient evaluation and stabilization. The majority of residents are compassionate, caring physicians, and they are open to improving their skills and insight into emergency patient care.  I can’t wait to begin again on Monday!

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