Adventures in Medicine

Medical School and Beyond!

New Year New Transition: From St. Kitts to Portland, Maine

on January 6, 2015

December 15th marked my last day of school on the island which was quickly followed by the 17th marking my last day as an island girl (I no longer fit the mold for the Kenny Chesney song…lol).  After being home for just 2 weeks with family and friends my parents and I packed up my Envoy and headed out for Maine the 1st of the year.  Once again I said goodbye to my home for another 4 months but at least this time I am remaining in the states.  The first day we drove to Pennsylvania (almost to the New Jersey border) before stopping for the night and on the way there I was blessed to see a bald eagle flying but unfortunately it was gone by the time I was able to get my phone and open my camera app.  Oh well hopefully it is not the last time I will see one of these beauties in flight.  Another benefit my dad drove through NYC (no not Times Square) to get to Astoria so I could visit my college friend whom I have not seen in over two years.  It was a great couple of hours and I enjoyed being able to meet her beautiful baby girl.

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After a night in Maine a snow storm came through reminding me that I am no longer in the tropics.  Long gone is the life sunshine (but that is alright but summer year round gets old fast…I need my change of seasons) and back is the life of cold snowy winter (just like home).  But also with the loss of sunshine is the loss of isolation.  Let me tell you Maine has pretty much everything from home (well except for Noodles and Company).  I mean I right in the middle of everything restaurants, stores, and interstates).

I even have a very nice room at the Residence Inn by Marriott.  Here I get a free hot breakfast every morning and free dinner Monday through Thursday, a warm indoor pool, a hot tub, and  a fitness center.  Take a look at my room:

IMG_0051    Living area with a nice fire place.  So useful this time of year. IMG_0052

The kitchen…with a dishwasher

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My bedroom.  There is another one on the other side of the Living room.

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The unit has 3 TVs (1 in each room).

In the words of Annie: “I think I’m gonna like it here!”

Today I went to register for school which begins in the morning and by the schedule I can it is going to be an intense 16 weeks.  It is possible that I will not get done with school until 7pm some days.  All this will help me prepare for the USMLE Step 1 exam that is coming up in just a few months.  The fun part is I will be starting a preceptorship next week with a local pediatrician (I will talk more about this after I start) and boy am I excited.

Another big difference between Maine and St. Kitts is the medical system itself here are two major differences:

1. Cost  Medical treatment is so much cheaper in St. Kitts compared to that of the US for example I had blood work done for a Hepatitis B titer and got the flu shot all for a grand total of $47.  One could not get blood drawn for this price in the states let along have the lab test done.   You can visit the ER and have x-rays done for $848.  While the price is cheap the bill must be paid upfront and the individual submits their paperwork for insurance reimbursement. This fact decreases access to healthcare as not everyone has the spare money sitting around to pay medical bills.

2. Equipment If you go to doctor in US and need a MRI chances are there is a local hospital where you can go to get it done.  That is not so in St. Kitts in stead locals must fly to another island where a machine is present.  This again requires money to cover both the test and the travel.  Additionally, there is no trauma center and in times of trauma time is precious.  Right now Basseterre (the capital of St. Kitts) is the leading city with murders per capita (yes it is a higher rate than Chicago) and these are gang related mostly due to shootings.  Bullets can do major damage to the body which can be problematic if the hospital is not equipped for trauma.  On the other hand doctors are very upfront telling the patients that they really need to change their lifestyle or they might be coming into the hospital in a body bag the next time.

Well now it is time to start studying and enjoy some hot chocolate in front of the cozy fireplace.

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One response to “New Year New Transition: From St. Kitts to Portland, Maine

  1. Keith says:

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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Bek Moody

ROLLING THE WAVES

my journey in this world

finding joy in everything

Redeeming Naptime

homemaking, parenting, grace, and Jesus.

As He Comforts Us

Marriage, Miscarriage, and the Goodness of God

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