I have had the very good fortune to have made three trips to Moshi and KCMC (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center) – in January and February 2000, 2003 and 2005. I’ve gone at the same time of year because it’s easier to get vacation time from my group (I practice in Seattle), and it’s a nice time to visit Tanzania – particularly if you want to go on safari or climb Kilimanjaro – both of which I would recommend.
Helmut and Ro are delightful hosts and incredibly dedicated individuals – it’s truly amazing to see what they have built for KCMC and the East Africa region in terms of the day-to-day service and the legacy of a radiology training program. They train both physicians (radiologists) and non-physicians (AMOs – assistant medical officers). They now have 43 AMO graduates and five radiology resident graduates. Presently, there are nine AMO students and nine residents in training. Most of the graduates work in regional, district and NGO hospitals in Tanzania – and some in Zambia.
I have worked with many of the students through their early years and followed their progression through graduation – with three of the former residents now on staff at KCMC. They function at a high skill level in all aspects of the department.
Though my role changed with each of my visits, the focus of visiting physicians remains primarily on teaching. This involves various didactic lectures. (Although I do mostly ultrasound, and that was the focus of my talks, they were very appreciative of other talks, developed after watching the daily practice that might add to their knowledge and experience). Daily departmental conferences, larger institutional conferences, working sessions with all the trainees, review of ongoing cases, film review sessions as well as more didactic sessions occupy much of the day.
For those with a sense of adventure who want to experience another part of the world and give something back, I suggest you consider this opportunity.Bill Marks, M.D. , Radia Medical Imaging Seattle, WA