What does an elective with FONAS involve?
You will be attached to a hospital withinPokhara, likely within the Emergency Department, with some flexibility to do other relevant specialities on request. The majority of your elective will be spent learning how emergencies are dealt with in Nepal. FONAS will ask you to dedicate some of your time to collecting data or case reports. Depending on operational circumstances, there may be an opportunity to observe on NAS ambulances and get involved in projects within NAS.
What data and why?
FONAS want to make an efficient, evidence-based Emergency Medical Service in Pokhara. To do that they need to understand the clinical need. Enabling the most efficient use of the extremely limited
resources to make the largest impact on patient outcomes. Also, by formally reporting the clinical
need it justifies to potential large grant donors why further support is needed. It also develops a
baseline of data that allows us to compare outcome with in the future, when the service is larger.
Put simply, it is really important work. Case reports from patients are also extremely useful for
highlighting the need for an Emergency Medical Service, for example the last elective student met a
patient who had a limb threatening injury that took him 8 hours to reach hospital.
All those who have been to Nepal have simply fallen in love with the country. The people are
uniquely warm and friendly. The medicine they practice in Nepal is eye opening with the lack of resources. It is a sharp contrast to more economically developed countries and students should realise the resourcefulness of the professionals operating in this area.
What we will provide you with?
Enthusiasm, support, guidance, advice, contacts. We have contacts in trustworthy travel agencies in
Nepal and contacts and recommendations with the different major hospitals in Pokhara but also
Kathmandu. We will provide you with a recommended structure for your research and help you
draft write it and ultimately help you present it academically or if possible publish it. We would like
you to stay enthusiastic with Nepal and NAS long after you have come home and help it grow by
considering joining FONAS. We can also help with elective grant applications to help fund your trip.
What we need from you?
As we have not established a formal elective program per-se, we require a level of initiative and
sometimes a tolerance of chaos and ability to adapt. Nepal is frequently having petrol shortages,
doctors’ strikes, power cuts and political instability – so you can imagine how this impacts on an
elective. However, we have all managed and had fantastic times. A degree of independence with
regards to sorting the specifics of your trip – accommodation, transfer, hospital liaison – will be
needed, but we know how to do all of this and are more than happy to help.