I should start by telling you all that I have officially received my license. You may think that this should be followed by an exclamation point, but I purposefully left it out. I arrived in Ethiopia 18 months, 8 days, 16 hours and 4 minutes ago. I have had my license now for 10 days. My excitement level 60%.
Number of Ob/Gyns in Ethiopia: >234. I can’t give you an exact number, but that is the number of Gynecologists that are members of the Ethiopian Society of obstetrics & gynaecology. Population 90.9 million. Thus, an average of 1 gynecologist for every 388,462 people.
Number of Ob/Gyns in America: around 46,000 (# of members of the American College of Obstetrics and gynaecology). Population 312.8 million people. An average of 1 gynecologist for every 6,800 people.
Number of Ob/Gyns in Chicage: 362. Population 2.7 million. 1 gynecologist for every 4,696 people.
Number of Ob/Gyn Doctors in Training in Ethiopia: 22.
Number of Residency programs to train doctors in Obstetrics and gynaecology in America: 264.
My point is: the need is huge. Coming to a country in need does not always mean that you are wanted. I am not saying I am not wanted, but it has crossed my mind a few times.
I wish I would have known, before I arrived, that I had to work for one year before they would give me a license. I wish the people in charge of getting my license wouldn’t have waited until the last-minute to apply. I wish that after I did everything that was asked of me, that my license would have been granted and not denied again. Why would they deny my license after giving them an entire year of service for free? Why did they “lose” all my paperwork and say there is no record of me ever working in Ethiopia after working for them for over a year? Why did the hospital have to argue with them for me to FINALLY get a license? And many more wishes and whys, I won’t even mention. There are many things I will never understand about this place.
A friend, Daniel Thornton, who helps with the street kids, always has something positive to say. I think in this situation if anyone asked him how he was doing he would say, “I am just livin’ the dream!”