Orthopaedics Overseas Rotation – Malawi

Orthopaedics Overseas Rotation – Malawi
PGY4 Resident
malawi flag
Overview: Each year, one resident from the R5 year is supported to experience a 5 week overseas elective in the medically underserved nation of Malawi, financially supported by the Richard J. Kemme, M.D. Endowed Professorship in Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Kemme is a graduate from the SLU Medical School (’56) and the SLU Orthopaedic Residency Program (’61) and is nationally recognized for his volunteer work in Malawi through Orthopaedics Overseas. The first week of the elective, the resident is accompanied by one of the full-time orthopaedic faculty and helps run a fracture course for the local orthopaedic assistants, which is sponsored by the AO Foundation.

Selection Process: The participating resident is identified from those applying for the elective during the first three years of residency. The resident must be in excellent academic standing. In the case of multiple qualified applicants, the resident with the earliest application date will be given preference. However, selection is at the discretion of the Program Director Group, consisting of the Program Director, Associate Program Director and Assistant Program Director.

General Description: The resident will participate in both outpatient and inpatient evaluation of patients on the service under the direction of Dr. Nyengo Mkandawire, a fully-trained Malawian orthopaedic surgeon who serves as the Head of the Department of Surgery and the Deputy Undergraduate Dean of the Malawi College of Medicine. The resident will be an active participant in the surgical management of specific orthopaedic conditions and procedures deemed appropriate by the attending orthopaedic staff. The resident will be an active participant in all the weekly conferences, as well as Malawi Orthopaedic Association Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference.

Specific Description: Approximately half of the clinical time will spent on the wards participating in teaching rounds. Topics covered will include all areas of orthopaedics, including how to take an appropriate history, conduct a physical exam on an orthopaedic patient, application of relevant clinical anatomy, interpretation of radiographs, general management principals of specific conditions and fractures, as well as the timing and role of operative intervention. The remainder of the clinical time will be spent visiting the district hospitals and assisting the local orthopaedic clinical officers in the management of their patients, on the ward and in the clinic.

Weekly schedule generally as follows:
Monday: Assisting Professor Mkandawire in the OR
Tuesday: Ward Rounds in the morning, OR with Mr. Ngulube in the afternoon
Wednesday: Site visits to the district hospitals
Thursday: Ward Rounds in the morning, Clinic in the afternoon
Friday: Assisting with add-on cases in the OR, teaching conference in the afternoon

Goals: The overall goals for the resident at this level are to master an orthopedic history and physical exam and be able to apply the appropriate imaging and laboratory studies to establish a diagnosis in an underserved setting.  The resident is expected to have a sound knowledge of general orthopaedics, trauma care and joint reconstruction.  The resident is expected to have a sound knowledge of the overall treatment principles that apply to patients with general orthopaedic maladies.