Tuesday, May 10, 2011

baghdad med

One of the most prestigious institutions in the country

Ride or die

        During my daily drive to work, I witness many heartbreaking scenes, frighteningly normal in Iraq, where the human body is violated. I see small boys and old men carrying more than ten times their weight of merchandise and transporting it for long distances barefoot, in the hot sun on unpaved roads. The trash filled streets are only interspersed with overflowing sewage. Once, I saw my patient, who just had extensive eye surgery a couple of days before, lugging merchandise on the street.  It is incredulous that such strenuous activity would be done after such an intense operation in spite of my instructions. 
        I have seen patients leave the hospital after eye exams and surgeries taking off their protective dark glasses immediately as they leave exposing their eyes to the burning bright sun and dusty winds.  I have seen nurses washing wounds with laundry detergent because there was no antiseptic or saline solution in the hospitals.   Students in Iraq study under less optimal lighting conditions when the electricity goes off an average of ten hours per day, forcing them to study by candlelight for long hours. 

-Excerpt from a personal statement that I revised for an Iraqi family friend, a physician who migrated from Iraq within the last 2 years.

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