Building bridges in global health
Bara is the public hospital that serves the 1.3 million inhabitants of Soweto, a township in Johannesburg. Per the UN, South Africa has one of the highest violent crime rates in the world--over 40 people are murdered each day. The ER at Bara is divided into a medical pit and a surgical pit. Trauma surgeons (and the students who work with them) resuscitate and manage patients in the surgical pit in addition to operating in the theaters. There are 16 resuscitation beds, 11 exam cubicles, and space for about 40 patients to be managed in the pit at once. On a busy day, they will all be full. The sheer volume of trauma coming through the doors makes Bara an unmatched place to train for anyone interested in trauma, emergency medicine, or surgery. The flip side is that the sheer volume of trauma exposes students to levels of violence some may be unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with. For more info, check out the facebook group "Going to Jo'burg for a trauma elective (and planning to come home alive!)": https://www.facebook.com/groups/116568250276/
24 hr shifts. 2-4 shifts/wk. Daily activities included leading resuscitations, managing trauma patients, and procedures like chest tubes, intubations, and suturing.