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Medicine along the Mekong

Melanie Cheng
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (11): 678-679.
Published online: 4 December 2006

Five months in Cambodia restored my perspective

I knew very little about Cambodia before I landed at the airport in Phnom Penh. I imagined luminous green rice paddy fields, smiling brown faces, and the perfect antidote to my disillusionment with medicine after only 2 years working in the Australian public health system. My medical resident jobs had seemed to require more secretarial ability than clinical skills, and hours were lost begging for an urgent investigation or trying to secure an outpatient appointment within the next 6 months. I wanted to witness the power of basic medical treatment — to save lives with a course of penicillin, to save sight with a few doses of vitamin A.

  • Melanie Cheng

  • The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: cheng_melanie@hotmail.com

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