There are two other students who started the dual degree program with me last year.  One is also an FNM student, but she is starting her clinical courses this semester (1 year behind me). The other is women’s health, so she completed her clinical courses over the summer. Honestly, balancing the two programs is starting to be difficult. The first issue is scheduling conflicts.  All three of us are double booked for at least one time slot, which means we will need to record one class or get the information from a fellow student.  This is partly because the nursing school and the public healthRead More →

Classes begin today.  This is my first semester in residence at the public health school which means in addition to the nursing courses I need to take to finish, I am taking a full course-load of public health.  I am also preparing for my thesis and my practicum.  So much to think about, but some of it is already under way. I have done some searching and really like an opportunity to work with a childbirth advocacy group in Honduras over the summer of 2012 for my practicum.  I’ll give more details if it all works out. I’ll ask for connections if it doesn’t. AsRead More →

The school of public health arranges a luncheon for all the dual degree candidates each fall.  It allows those of us from different programs to meet each other.  By far, the largest number of dual degree candidates is from the medical school (they have 26 this year), and most of them are in the epidemiology department.  But there are other candidates from the physician’s assistant school, business school, law school, last year I had a class with a dual degree from the school of theology and this year I meed a dual candidate from the physical therapy school. This year, there are 11 MSN/MPH candidates in residence in theRead More →

School starts tomorrow.  I’m really looking forward to this semester.  Not only do I get to take a lactation course and an issues in women’s health, I am also taking some fabulous classes over at the school of public health.  I start my epidemiology training this semester, am taking a course on access to healthcare and I was able to squeeze in an international reproductive and sexuality issues class. That last class is the one I am most excited about.  I will be assigned a country, and as we move through the semester learning how to find the data we need to compile the numbers forRead More →

I was giving a great gift from a wonderful friend.  She has volunteered with MSF for the last few years and so had two copies of their publication Obstetrics in remote settings. Her second copy is now mine. Basically, this is the text they use to orient new workers to field obstetrics. It reminds me alot of Dr. Gregory White’s Emergency Birth, with the interesting additions of prenatal care, how to identify various infections, and postpartum care including kangaroo care for low birth weight.  It has simple explanations and simple drawings. It is not really on the level of the Hesperian Foundations books, it does rely a bitRead More →

A friend and colleague recently visited with the intention of discovering what pregnancy and childbirth books I think are important. I explained that I have given away most of my books already, and that what is left is not really consumer materials but midwifery level.  That was fine with her, she wanted to know what I books I will not part with.  Interesting.  Made me wonder if others might want to know what I consider to be key books to keep.  Here are the ones I picked out as my most recommended for her. Books by Gayle Peterson:  I love her philosophy of treating not only theRead More →

My children returned to school this past week, and I will begin my orientation to the school of public health this week.  August seems to early for fall, but what can I do. Already it seems too cool to swim in the evenings (we get spoiled by the warm weather of the summer so the mid – high 80s can feel cold for swimming). I am doing my best to be ready for school to begin. One of my challenges this year will be finding a field placement for next summer. It must be public health oriented, and I have a few rules. 1.  IRead More →

I am back from Nairobi, which was an amazingly eye-opening experience.  Check out the Birth in Central Africa blog for highlights and photos from the trip. I took my last final exam of the semester and will be using the next week to get the business back in order before I dive into more school work. I’ve cleaned out my twitter, rearranging the way I see my feeds.  I’ve set up charts to ensure I am posting when I think I am for the Facebook pages.  I’m even working on the finances–my least favorite job. But getting my work done has it’s advantages.  For example,Read More →

We were up early to check in at the airport and had enough time left over for a cup of coffee before we needed to board. But the representative from Kenya air couldn’t give us boarding passes for the Amsterdam leg of our journey, and the Java House was out of coffee. We sat quietly wondering how we would negotiate less than an hour lay-over having to get new boarding passes. The flight from Nairobi was uneventful, thankfully.  This time we were seated near a window and marveled as we slowly crossed the Sahara desert. Huge does not even begin to describe it. Hours ofRead More →

We are counting the hours until a taxi comes to collect us.  Our bags are packed, and Tammy’s looks to be OK even as it bulges at the seams. I’m sure all my clothing will smell like the coffee beans packed under my dirty clothes when I return home Good thing I like that smell. At the end of the training, each doula made a wish for the women of Nairobi while placing a glass heart on a tray.  As we left, we each took one of the wish hearts to keep safe until next year.  I shared my wish, that no woman in NairobiRead More →