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In a little less than two months, I will board a plane and take a trip to the country of my birth, Kenya. I will then drink a cup of home-grown coffee, perhaps two. I have the privilege of taking a fourth year elective in Pediatric Neurosurgery at Kijabe Hospital, about an hour northwest of Nairobi. This trip is 2 years in the making as I originally reached out in 2012 to Dr. Leland Albright, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon at Kijabe Hospital, who has been doing extraordinary work in Kenya addressing the pressing need for pediatric neurosurgical care. My invitation letter says that I will “receive instruction in the neurosurgical examination of infants and children, common disorders affecting pediatric neurosurgical patients, surgical assisting techniques and learn how socio-economic factors affect medical care in a developing country.” Simply put, I am THRILLED about this trip. I will get to work with kids with neurosurgical needs in my home country #fullcircle #can’twaittogetstarted #stillblessed [sorry, I discovered that there is an unspoken rule in social media, of which I will now speak, that your third hashtag, no matter the content of your first two hashtags, must always read #stillblessed].

But back to the trip. Fourth year offers more opportunity than earlier years to reflect. That’s partly a schedule thing, partly an I’m- -almost- done thing, but refreshingly provides moments when the minutiae and logistics can be put aside for a second and the big picture assessed. And that  is what this trip to Kenya represents, getting beyond narrow egocentric career goals and really discovering the broader nature of my medical vision. What needs will I see and what role will I ultimately play in the light of those needs? How will the rest of my medical path shape up in response to the answers to those questions?

I have a strong suspicion that this trip will be transformative, and I will attempt to bring the experience to life right here, live, on the Dose of Reality. Stay tuned! #moretocome #Kenya #stillblessed.