Dr. Humphrey Completes Rotation in Botswana
Dr. Stephen Humphrey completed a four-week Dermatology service rotation in Gaborone, Botswana as part of the American Academy of Dermatology’s Resident International Grant and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership.
He ran the Dermatology clinic and inpatient service at the Princess Marina Hospital from August 11th-Sept. 5th. During his time there, he saw nearly 400 patients and managed numerous inpatient consults. Each Thursday, he worked at outreach sites in the towns of Kanye, Lobatse, Mochudi, and Mahalapye, some as far as 200 km away.
Dr. Humphrey worked closely with many of the medical students from the new medical school at the University of Botswana, as they rotated through the Dermatology clinic. Besides informal teaching in the clinics, he also prepared PowerPoint lectures and presented on morphology, eczematous dermatoses, and common skin infections as part of the second year medical student curriculum.
While on away at his outreach clinics, Dr. Humphrey presented on selected topics for the community physicians at their respective hospitals. Typical lectures revolved around atopic dermatitis management and xerosis, two exceedingly common skin conditions in arid Botswana. At Princess Marina Hospital, Dr. Humphrey also followed up all labs, cultures and biopsies for his patients and from the previous Dermatology residents. He communicated with the UPenn and MCW faculty for difficult cases and coordinated patient care with surgery, oncology, and rheumatology almost daily.
The clinical exposure at Princess Marina Hospital was very broad, from the mundane to the rare – Dr. Humphrey had the opportunity to manage or diagnose: oculocutaneous albinism, bullous pemphigoid, systemic lupus erythematosus, pemphigus, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema induratum, leprosy, many HIV and AIDS-related diagnoses, and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
While he spent the majority of his days working, he found some time to explore Gaborone, and the beautiful country of Botswana. He was lucky enough to go on a couple of safaris in South Africa and in Chobe National Park in Botswana, as well as visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
“I have always loved to travel and explore other cultures, and the opportunity to participate in a Dermatology elective in Botswana combined two of my passions. This excursion reminded me why I went into medicine at the most basic level – to teach, to provide care, and improve the quality of life for patients. This month forced me to grow as a person and a physician, and reminded me that we live in an incredible, vast, and yet tightly connected world. This experience set ablaze my passion for global health and I am already looking forward to my next adventure.”
Dr. Humphrey received funding from the American Academy of Dermatology Resident International Grant the Elaine Kohler Global Health Elective Scholarship.
You can relive Dr. Humphrey’s experience in Botswana in his blog: