Brian Ginn


Brian Ginn

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands January 24th 2018

A Week on Peds There are several reasons why I am not going into pediatrics: the patients can’t tell you their symptoms, they squirm and cry when you try to examine them, and there is too much math involved when dosing medications. I am in the mindset of treating pediatric patients as though they are just tiny adults, which they are not. Thus, I am eternally grateful for those (like my beautiful wife) who have chosen to dedicate themselves to this field. This being said, I have enjoyed my three days on the pediatric ward. My kiddos had things ranging from run-of-the-mill pneumonia to meningitis to pigbel. (As an aside, pigbel is a severe form of necrotizing enteritis that is only seen in the Highlands of New Guinea. It occurs after eating contaminated meat, usually pork, ... read more
Radiology consult
Osteomyelitis of the ischium of the hip

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands January 21st 2018

For the past week, I have been rounding on the medical ward with Dr. Bill. On the medical ward, interestingly enough, many of the problems that we manage are very similar to those on a medical ward in the US: COPD exacerbation, congestive heart failure exacerbation, pneumonia, etc. And then there are some cases that I have never seen on a medical ward at home: typhoid, osteomyelitis, malaria. After rounds end in the morning, usually sometime between 9:00 and 10:00, we head over to the outpatient department (OPD) and start seeing all the outpatients for the day. The way this works is that patients will line up outside the hospital, nurses will screen patients to see who actually needs to see a physician, they then come and wait inside to see the next available doctor, five ... read more
My walk to work every morning

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands January 14th 2018

Mi bai kamap Dokta bilong Katim This week was my week on surgery. With Dr. Sheryl, I got to see many patients inside and out of the OR. There were several “bread and butter” straightforward cases – tubal ligation, C-sections, lap appendectomy, as well as some others that were not so straightforward. Among these was a bladder stone in a four year old child. You’ll see the x-ray I uploaded as well as a picture of the stone itself, which ended up measuring about 2 cm in length. Another surgery started as a diagnostic laparoscopy, where we stick a laparoscopic camera inside the abdomen to look around and see if we can identify the cause of a patients symptoms, which in this case were two weeks of lower abdominal pain and fever, refractory to medical treatment. ... read more
Bladder stone removed
John opening a coconut

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands January 10th 2018

Life on Station Kudjip Nazarene Hospital (now officially known as Nazarene General Hospital Jiwaka) is part of a large mission station in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (the elevation here is about 5200 ft.). There are quite a few missionary families that live on station, as do many of the national staff. One of the great things about this is that everything is within walking distance. My guest flat is about a 3 minute walk from the hospital. To walk to the houses on the other end of the station takes maybe 7 or 8 minutes. The other missionaries on station are great company. I’ve been invited over to dine with several times with different families and it’s always a wonderful time. My quarters consist of a two bedroom flat with a kitchenette. The water ... read more
Buying kaukau at the market
Sewing up a thumb in the ER
Hanging out with Ranger the cuscus

Oceania » Papua New Guinea » Western Highlands January 4th 2018

A brief life update for those of you with whom I’ve been out of contact for a while: I’m halfway through my fourth year of medical school and am planning to pursue a general surgery residency later this year. I have been married to my lovely wife Abigail for a year and a half. She is in her first year of pediatrics residency in Chicago. Ok, you’re up to speed. Greetings from Kudjip, Papua New Guinea! It’s hard to believe that it’s been four and a half years since I was last here. On my two previous visits (summers of 2012 and 2013) I was a lowly pre-med college student who didn’t know a lick about anything medical. Now I at least know enough to be dangerous. I’ll be here for just over 3 weeks. One ... read more

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Connemara June 22nd 2015

The Cliffs of Moher, located on Ireland's west coast, are the most popular natural tourist destination in the country. The sheer rock climbs up to 702 ft. above the sea where waves crash and thousand of sea birds make their homes. Besides the Cliffs, this area of County Clare is home to many small quaint towns and tourist shops. Our first attempt to view the Cliffs was last Friday. There was a fog at our hostel in Lisdoonvarna, several miles inland from the sea, and as we drove out toward the cliffs, the thickness of the fog only increased. A few days earlier we had attempted to drive the Ring of Kerry through some bouts with thick fog, but that did not hold a candle to this stuff. I stood on the edge of some of ... read more
Cliffs of Moher
The betrothed couple
My lovely fiancée

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Killarney June 19th 2015

Monday was our last day in Scotland. David continued life as a working man, and we remaining four (Mom, Dad, Abigail, and I) traveled on to Ireland! For our last meal in Edinburgh, we ate at the Elephant House - an eclectic cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book. As we were coming out of the cafe, I saw a girl in a cab with a very shocked look on her face and she was gesticulating excitedly. Turns out it was Tori Cohagan, one of my friends from high school and youth group. She and her family were vacationing in Scotland as well (her father, Jerry, is also a professor at Olivet). I hurriedly got out my phone and we took a selfie with Tori hanging out the taxi window right as ... read more
Blarney Castle
The ambulatory in Muckross Abbey
Another Muckross ambulatory surrounding the courtyard

Today we five returned to Edinburgh from a trip to the Scottish Highlands. Driving to the Highlands is like driving from the American Midwest to the West in terms of changing landscape. The major difference is that the Scottish Highlands have a lot more sheep and a few castles visible from the highway. Overall, the Highlands were cooler than Edinburgh; the temperatures were as low as 50 F during the day. The sun was reluctant to show itself and drizzling rain plagued us a few times. However, the beauty and solitude of the Highlands outweighed the chilly weather. We started the trip in Inverness, just a few miles north of scenic Loch Ness. Unfortunately, the Loch Ness Monster was nowhere to be seen. We toured Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. This castle was ... read more
Portree, Isle of Skye
Iain - Pub Patron and Vending Machine Assaulter
Eilean Donan Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh June 9th 2015

Good morrow from across the pond. I am currently in Edinburgh, Scotland. The "we" that is to be mentioned in the subsequent blog posts is comprised of me, my mom and dad, my lovely girlfriend Abigail, and my brother David, who lives here in Edinburgh. I just finished my first year of medical school on Friday, after which I drove home (arriving at 12:30 am Saturday morning), and we flew out from O'Hare at 3:50 pm. It's all been a whirlwind. Aside from the minimal jetlag, the travel went smoothly and David met us at the Edinburgh aiport. (If you recall from my previous visit to Edinburgh a year and a half ago, my Edinburgh airport experience was not very pleasant - it consisted of me walking from the airport toward the city at 2:00 AM ... read more
Pork belly and ribs and Ye Olde Golf Pub
Inside Edinburgh Castle
Calton Hill

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 14th 2015

No, I didn’t misspell the title. When I last updated, we had just arrived in Lima after several adventure-packed days in Cusco. I’m currently sitting at home in sunny Bourbonnais, Illinois, but I would be remiss if I didn’t finish a final blog post detailing my time spend in Lima, Peru. La Ciudad Grande Lima is big. Bigger than Chicago. If you’re a consistent reader of this blog, you will know that I do not like big cities. Contrarily, my two traveling partners LOVE big cities. We took a taxi from the airport to our hostel and I just looked out the window at all of the traffic, huge buildings, flashing lights, and droves of people everywhere and I immediately wanted to go back to Cusco – the cultural, scenic, slower-moving, smaller city we had just ... read more
Best Meal Ever
Catedral de Lima

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