Rwandan medical students visit Philadelphia

    Medical students from Rwanda are in Philadelphia to learn about the U.S. medical system.

    Jean Christophe Rusatira, 23, worked in pediatrics during his rotation at Jefferson University Hospital. He took special note of the high-tech, in-room monitoring equipment–and the plush beds that he suspects help speed healing.

    Hospitals at home don’t have those resources, but Rusatira plans to dedicate more time to patient education when he returns to Rwanda.

    “Because I’ve seen here that the patients also know much about what they suffer from, or what should be the care provided for them, they understand what’s really being done for them,” he said.

    That understanding, he says, helps patient stick to their doctor’s care plan.

    Rusatira, a fifth-year medical student who wants to be a cardiologist, said he enjoyed taking time to talk shop with colleagues in Philadelphia.

    “They have time for discussing good cases or discussing newspapers or new articles published, which is not really very common (in Rwanda),” he said.

    The visit also gave Rusatira, who s from a rural province, a new appreciation for his country’s public health strengths. He said Rwanda trains many lay people to do public health work in remote areas.

    That strategy, he says, might help the United States fight some of its biggest health problems such as heart disease and obesity.

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