Joining Forces Initiative.

Medical schools announce the:

Joining Forces Initiative

Quick summary: Med schools are making a commitment to enhance medical education to ensure that challenges faced by military service members, veterans & families are not completely foreign to physicians in training.

I wonder how the schools plan to do this.  My school prides itself on it’s cultural sensitivity and such but oddly enough, I never heard anything related to military populations unless it was recruiting or a trauma lecture given by a military student.

My advisors, for the most part, had to be honest & tell me that they really couldn’t help me too much as they had little to no clue about military scholarships, residencies or life though many of them are former military docs.  Its certainly gotten better over the last several years that I’ve been in school as far as availability of information with the different branches & acceptance by classmates but there’s room for improvement still & many hard at work on it.  (a thank you extended to those working on that front)

With more and more medical students pursuing military scholarships and training I anticipate that education, advising and knowledge about military life and the needs of the many populations affected by military life will get better. Hopefully those who pursue military medical training will follow many of our mentors into mentoring or educating not only the students following us into service but those who travel with us in medicine as well.

Happy Trails.



The Best Time to Buy Anything in 2012

The Best Time to Buy Anything in 2012. according to

“A lady by today’s definition knows that educating herself in every way possible, from higher education to the common sense manners, empowers her to become a woman of accomplishment and poise.  She knows that it is not the dress size she wears or the money she possesses that brings her satisfaction in life. A lady knows that beauty and wealth can be fleeting, but her inner character is the measure by which others will ultimately judge her as a person. Her courtesies, the high esteem in which she holds herself and others, and her sincere words of praise and thoughtfulness will reflect her strong values and place her ahead in the minds and hearts of those who know here. Being thought of as a “lady” may be one of the highest compliments a woman can receive in life.”  – Candace Simpson-Giles in Introduction to How To Be A Lady …

“But for every Darfur, for every humanitarian crisis that captures the world’s attention, dozens of silent emergencies smolder out of sight. – Brad Pitt”

“We forget that there are 2 Billion people, a third of humankind living on less than $2 per person per day. We forget that 17 million will die this year from avoidable and unnecessary causes. It’s a viscious cycle of poverty and ill health for people all around the world. – Nils Daulaire”

– Rx for Survival: Delivering the Goods, Episode 3, 39:40 – 40:14

My Africa Animal List

Agama Lizard

Serval  (cat species)

Lions & cubs

Black-backed jackals & pups

Bat-eared Fox

Spotted Hyena

Slender Mongoose

Blue Monkey

Vervet Monkey

Olive & Yellow Baboon

African Bush Elephants

Black Rhinoceros




Plains Zebra

African/Water  Buffalo

Blue Wildebeest

Common Eland





Coke’s Hartebeest

Thomson’s Gazelle

Grant’s Gazelle





Nile Crocodile


Marabou Stork

Egyptian Goose

Grey Crowned Crane

Lappet-Faced Vulture

Secretary Bird

Common Ostrich

Helmeted Guineafowl

Lilac-breasted Roller

Superb Starling

Masked Weaver

Kingfisher (bird)

Olive Thrush

Marine Turtle





Chickens & Roosters (one of the most annoying animals on the planet!)

(Snakes in a Hepatology center & clinic)

Video Testimonials.

See me talk about Elective Africa while in Arusha, Tanzania.  These were taped in a garden though it may not look like it with the cement and all.

Elective Africa Testimonials

(These were off the cuff and without much direction of planning so be kind, plus water pressure is awful and I was funning out of clothes and balancing on a poorly positioned chair so … all in all we rose above to make a halfway decent video … )


Kiswahili (Swahili)

  • Key language of communication in East Africa
  • Bantu group from Niger-Congo family
  • Proven to be present in 1st millenium AD
  • Widely spoken but only the 1st language of 4-5 million people with ~45 million using as second language.
  • National language of Kenya & Tanzania, Common in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zanzibar, Comoros, eastern Congo, southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia, northern Mozambique, northern Zambia & NW Madagascar
  • Heavily influenced by:
  • Arabic (‘coastal’ –> ‘Swahili’)
  • Europeans spread the language inland
  • Persia
  • Portuguese
  • English (baisikeli – basically,  penseli – pencil, kompyuta – computer)
  • Standard Dialect = urban Zanzabar City
  • Used in Kenya & Tanzania during Precolonial times for missionaries & colonial governments to interact with locals, then used in adminstration, which led to it’s official status in the post-colonial period.
  • First written by the colonialists so it is based on a Roman alphabet and spelled exactly as it sounds.


Alphabet / Sound English words with equivalent sound Alphabet
a father a
ay may  
e   ay
ee bee  
i   ee
o   oh
oh role  
oo moon  
b big bee
c   see
ch chilli  
d din dee
dh this  
f fun ayf
g go jee
h hat ay-chee
j jam jay
k kick kay
l loud ayl
m man aym
n no ayn
ng sing  
ny canyon  
p pig pee
r run (more like a d) ar
s so ays
sh ship  
t tin tee
th thing  
u   oo
v van vee
w win dab al yoo
y yes wa ee
z zoo zayd ee


Articles a ___  = ua __ some ___ =  ___ watu   or   watu ___


Am/is/are  =  ni    Am not/is not/are not  =  si


I = Mimi  We = Sisi


Nouns:  person or animal – singular = m-,  plural = wa-

object – singular & plural n- / j- / no prefix


Nouns –> Adjectives:

  • person or animal – singular & pleural = wa ___
  • object – singular = ya,  plural = za.


Doctor = Daktari

Student = Nafunzi


I am a student doctor  Mimi ni wa nafunzi daktari.
We are student doctors Sisi ni wa nafunzi daktari.


Samahani = Excuse Me        (most useful word!)

This has been your (& my) primer in Swahili. I still don’t understand most things said to me but, Thanks for watching.