“Heading back to my second home” says Dr. Livingston

Monday, January 2, 2017

Heading back to my second home

It’s been a nearly perfect January day in Halifax – sun, blue sky, no wind, no ice, and 2 degrees.  The city is relatively quiet, as people squeak out one more day of holiday.
In two days, I will be heading back to Rwanda, my second home, for another month of teaching. My companions are two senior residents, Kitt and Kyle. Amélie, who was with me in January 2015, will join us for a week.  Ruth, with whom I have developed the Teaching and Learning Course for Medical Professionals, will join us to teach the course in Rwanda. It will be lively.
The big gap this year is Michelle, who has made multiple visits to help with the simulation program and nurse education. She needs to take a year off but has made me promise to hug everyone she knows. Rwanda is full of people who love Michelle, so I could be busy.
For years, the anesthesia residency program in Rwanda struggled to recruit candidates but this has changed dramatically in the past two years.  There are now 21 residents in the program.  This is a great success but also daunting. My Rwandan colleagues and I will need to work on logistics for this group and anticipate a possible intake of another 10 residents later this year. A good problem to have!
In addition to classroom and operating room teaching, Kitt, Kyle and I are planning a full program of simulated scenarios for each Monday afternoon. Simulation provides a great chance for the residents apply their skills in real time without risk to patients.
We are looking forward to offering the Essential Pain Management Course in Butare. This practical, multidisciplinary course teaches fundamental skills in pain management.  It has been offered in over 40 countries around the world.
My philosophy is that we should travel with a full teaching toolbox but be prepared to pull out what is needed at the time.  Precise but flexible.
There will be a gap in posts until I arrive in Rwanda on Friday.  Best wishes to everyone. Thank you for all your support.  I look forward to sharing our adventures.