Last month, the World Pediatric Project returned to St. Vincent to provide cardiology services to the Eastern Caribbean pediatric patient population. As is always the case, Trinity students were with them, lending a hand and gaining invaluable experience.
The visiting team was led by Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center pediatric cardiologist, Dr. William Moskowitz. Dr. Moskowitz was supported by Dr. Moore, a cardiology resident. All in, they saw sixty-seven patients during their stay on St. Vincent.
The consultation session primarily was used to diagnosed new cases and followed up existing ones. While most WPP visits are surgical in nature, cardiology missions like Dr. Moskowitz's are crucial in their non-surgical capacity as well. Healthcare can be inaccessible for some people in more remote areas of the Caribbean. As a result, conditions that are sometimes regarded as relatively easy to prevent, like rheumatic fever, are a constant and chronic concern needing acute care.
The consultations were divided into morning and afternoon sessions, in both cases, Trinity students were able to get up-close with the specialists as they worked with the patients and made any diagnoses and/or performed procedures. Fifth term Trinity student Kwadwo Saka described his preparation as, “Basically, I focused on testing my clinical skills, the sort of history gathering we've been working on since last term. I did a deep dive on the WPP as well." Kwadwo's colleague in 5th term, Jenny Ov, focused on applied knowledge, "My pathology was on point. I wanted to be ready if the physicians asked me any questions. Pediatrics is one of my top choices of specialty so I was really eager to attend the mission."
Fellow fifth term students Ariel Moskowitz [ed. No relation to the visiting Dr. Moskowitz] and Matthew Chow were eager to share in the experience of learning under the visiting experts. Ms. Moskowitz noted, “When we got to the hospital, we just jumped right in. They set up the patients and hooked up their records from the past to check on progress. We were able to see the echo-cardiogram and Dr. Moskowitz explained everything that was going on with the heart." She continued, "A lot of the cases had to do with rheumatic fever. Going from covering it in class to getting such a rigorous overview with a cardiologist discussing a pediatric patient on their way in was totally different. It was the same when we saw a patient who has heart disease, hearing murmurs, getting that insight that's not available every day.”
Matthew Chow was especially thankful for the experience. “In terms of specialty,” he stated, “that mission will probably have some influence on me. I was able to see what is done on a daily basis and my interest was piqued. I'd certainly recommend the experience to any med student.”
As a point of institutional pride, this sort of partnership is only available at Trinity School of Medicine.