How Training to Be a Physician Assistant Is Changing Me

Jan 28, 2020 12:47:22 AM Sarah Rymer

Sai Sai Poe is a Physician Assistant student at Earth Mission Asia and in his last year of training at the Rain Tree Clinic, which was established on the edge of Karen state in Myanmar to provide healthcare for the Karen people and training for local students in the program. IDEAS partners with Earth Mission Asia to provide a training program in Myanmar that develops Physician Assistants among the local Karen people so that they can provide healthcare within their remote villages. Sai Sai shares how his training at the Rain Tree Clinic is changing him. . .


“Time spent at the Rain Tree Clinic has changed me in different ways. Seeing patients at the Rain Tree Clinic has made me happy and confident. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be easy to communicate with the local Karen people, but with the passage of time we were able to build a good relationship with them. Working in a remote area is really difficult compared to working in a city clinic. At the city clinic we had good doctors and better access to medicines and other resources, such as a refrigerator and good electricity. However, at the Rain Tree Clinic we can’t store medicines because we don’t have a refrigerator. We have had to learn to take care of the patients ourselves without doctors, but thankfully we have phone and Wi-Fi to contact the doctors and EMA teachers when we need suggestions. 

I have learned much while treating many kinds of patients with different diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, GI problems, arthritis, measles, asthma, bone fractures, eye problems, scrub typhus, leptospirosis, UTI, and brain tumors. Most of the patients I saw were infected with measles. I learned that there are many things to consider when treating a measles patient. Most importantly, I learned that we cannot just treat patients; we also need to give health education and encouragement to patients and their families. Giving better health education is vital in building relationship and trust between the medic and the patient. I have loved building relationships with the patients this year!

I have more confidence to see patients and to make decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment. Two years ago I felt nervous to treat patients, and I didn’t know how to present their cases to doctors. Treating patients at the Rain Tree Clinic has improved my learning and understanding of how to record a patient’s history and how to conduct a physical exam. I feel happy and satisfied with my progress. 

This year I hope to learn more about how to do an ultrasound, how to read an X-ray, how to do more advanced labs, and how to understand lab results. I am also looking forward to learning about C-section deliveries.”

Click here to read Sai Sai Poe’s original blog post and here if you would like to be part of the transformation happening in Thailand and Myanmar!


About the Author: Sai Sai Poe is a Year 5 Physician Assistant student currently interning at the Rain Tree Clinic and other different clinics. Since Sai Sai Poe was a child, he’s wanted to be a teacher and a doctor so he could both heal people and empower others to take care of themselves. Click here to read more about how hope is being restored in Myanmar.


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