Working in other countriesBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7248.1543 (Published 03 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1543
Work opportunities in developing countries broaden the mind
- Kirsteen J Thompson, specialist registrar. (email@example.com)
- Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow G12 0YN
- Department of Child Health, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN
EDITOR—Working in other countries can enhance knowledge and skills and broaden one's perspective considerably, as Smith emphasises in her personal view about working for Voluntary Service Overseas.1 Having begun life in India, I qualified in medicine in the United Kingdom and then spent several years preparing to return to rural India as an ophthalmologist. Most people regarded this choice as quaint, but there were colleagues who showed genuine interest.
I worked for five years as an ophthalmologist in a leprosy hospital (also providing eye services for the general population) in eastern India. These were the most challenging, interesting, and exhausting years of my career. There were times when I felt ill equipped, ill informed, and totally inadequate for my responsibilities. I quickly had to learn how to budget, to buy equipment, to write project proposals, to train and manage staff, and to organise and teach on training courses and workshops. My training in the United …