“My name is Naw Lay Lay Poe. I am a Physician Assistant Year 5 student at Earth Mission Asia (EMA). Before I came to EMA, I heard that EMA was doing physician assistant training by Thara Ray Kaw and Dr. Mitch. Then I asked them how many years this training would be and they said the training program would be for five years. They also said after finishing the training we would have to work in rural areas.
When I heard about this program, I was interested in it so I decided to join PA training. By the Grace of God I was accepted in this training program. First year I studied in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I learnt English, Math, Basic science (Chemistry), critical thinking skills, and basic computer skills.
After finishing year one, I came back to Ler Doh (T-RAD) then we started learning about medicine and the diseases. We had to study in the classes for the first three months with only theory-based lectures. After three months, we had the opportunity to start seeing the patients and presenting in front of doctors in the morning section, and in the afternoon section we had to study in the classes.
In year three, we kept studying at T-RAD but we had more chances to see In-Patient Department (IPD) patients and the doctors did rounds while teaching us about patients, case by case. In this year, we also study about how to diagnose and treat.
In year four, we moved to the Rain Tree Clinic (RTC). After we moved there we had to see and treat the patients ourselves. In the previous years we saw patients in different cases and we contacted doctors for help. In year 4 we learned a lot practically. We didn’t have regular classes but we did rounds teaching in IPD every day and discussed patients’ cases. Sometimes we had to write the patient cases and send them to the doctors at T-RAD as well.
I’d like to share a patient story from my time at RTC. My patient’s name was Naw Paw Day Nya (23). This was her first pregnancy, after three months of pregnancy she felt some abdominal pain and then got bleeding. She had been bleeding for three days at her village. Sadly, after three days people brought her to the Rain Tree Clinic. Upon her arrival she was still bleeding.
When we checked her, we saw some blood clots came down, and we did a speculum exam. We also saw blood clots and tissue in her cervix. She had no fever when we first saw her but her blood pressure and HB was quite low. We contacted Tharamu Mon (EMA Lead Midwife) to give us suggestions. We kept her in IPD and gave her IV fluid and blood transfusion.
Before we removed the tissue we went to prayer together as a team, putting her in front of God as her condition was very sensitive. After we removed the tissue, her bleeding was getting more and she became shocked. For this reason, we gave and ran IV fluid quickly and gave oxygen to her as well. After giving this for a few minutes, the patient’s condition improved.
Our staff made a critical decision of transferring this patient to the nearest hospital which was two days away from us and at this we were facing the rain and the roads were damaged as well. We had to call help from the residents nearby RTC to carry the patient along with our staff.
Our staff and local residents did a tremendous job of transferring her safely to the nearest hospital and her life was saved. She recovered very well.
In year 5, we went to Mae Toa Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand to learn about delivering a baby. We stayed there for two months and came back to RTC. We helped see patients at RTC one month with Year 4 students. Then we came to T-RAD again for more lectures. There we studied about ECG, ultrasound, X-Ray, and Lab. We also reviewed lectures and studied public health.
Five years ago I said, ‘When I’m done with this training, and if I have the support of my people, I would like to open my own clinic back in my village so that no one will have to go far to receive the medical attention they need.’
I am proud to say that my vision in these 5 years has grown. I am still devoted to opening a local clinic in my village with the knowledge I have to help local Karens.
Thank you Earth Mission Asia for literally changing my LIFE!” – Naw Lay Lay Poe, Year 5 Physician Assistant student