Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lunchtime at the clinical research unit

We begin by discussing running.  Opinions range from for, or against as a pastime (there is no in-between).

Then we move on to aikido.  Someone has been taking classes.  Pro: aikido involves throwing people for exercise.  Con: all the other participants are little children.

Next, we all discuss nannies.  Pro: Philippino nannies work during Tet.  Con: They demand health insurance.

Someone starts to tell someone else about the diptheria baby who is on a trach but there's no medicine in the whole country for him. And the government won't get it in for just one patient.

Everybody teases everybody else about washing lunchboxes - a serious business amongst the Vietnamese staff, whereas you'd be lucky if the expats dump out their uneaten sandwich crusts.

Then, the director comes in. 

So everyone else starts talking about statistics.  And those of us who are administrators roll our eyes and leave.  Way to ruin lunch break, Jeremy!


  1. Very interesting lunch time coonversations. Sad to hear about the poor baby that needs meds and can't get them and we complain about our health system - why?

    1. Diphtheria has almost completely disappeared in developed countries due to near universal, cheap vaccination. The vaccine is available here too, and diphtheria cases are becoming extremely rare - so much so that one of our researchers told me she thinks they may not see enough cases over the next few years to do any research. A greater concern in the west is the ignorant parents who choose to opt out of vaccination programmed, decreasing herd immunity and creating conditions for treatment resistant strains of very dangerous diseases to develop - as we see already with measles.