Fellowship helps resident expand skills internationally

Nenna Nwazota
Nenna Nwazota

Dr. Nenna Nwazota has known since she was in medical school she wanted to train internationally.

“I want to be able to practice anesthesia in any location I find myself in,” Nwazota, a CA-2 resident in Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology.

And now she will get the chance, thanks to a prestigious traveling fellowship from the Society of Education in Anesthesia and the Health Volunteers Overseas. Nwazota is one of nine anesthesiology residents across the nation who has been awarded the chance to spend a month during her CA-3 year in a country with limited health care resources to provide anesthesia services and training.

Nwazota sees this fellowship as an opportunity to broaden her skill set.

“A lot of what we practice here in the United States is very technical,” she said. “The equipment is very advanced and very expensive, and many (hospitals in developing or poor countries) just don’t have.”

As a premedical student, Nwazota travelled to Nigeria and completed an international health elective as a medical student at Baylor. She said in many global practices it is a challenge to provide safe anesthesia due to a lack monitoring equipment and tools.

Nwazota said she didn’t want her education, skills and ultimately her career limited because she hadn’t experienced practicing anesthesia on a more basic level.

The lack of access to expensive technology is not limited to poor countries, Nwazota said. She noted there are places in this country where you don’t have access to tools that are available in the Texas Medical Center.

International training “is something I want to have in my arsenal, to help me be versatile and flexible and maintain that same standard of quality and safe care in a resource-limited setting,” Nwazota said.

Awarded the fellowship in March, Nwazota will find out in the coming month where she will be able to travel for the fellowship.

-By Audrey M. Marks

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