Dr. Allison Diamant
Dr. Allison Diamant is an associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She was the team leader MD on MMK 2011 medical mission trip to Kenya overseeing all the medical operations during the free health services held in Wamba Village and Gaitheri village. When I first met Dr Diamant, her love of Africa was evident. She had been to Kenya before way back in 1987 and we immediately connected over that. Her eyes sparkled as she shared her experiences in Botswana where she had volunteered with Peace Corps.
But MMK was no Peace Corps. We were a new organization formed by a Nurse who wanted to do more in her home country. I kept thinking...how do I convince her to go? As it turned out she did not need any convincing. She quickly committed to the trip and guided me on the logistics and the medications. I still remember her sitting down in my living room floor with Dr Lilian Wu, tearing boxes and packing for the trip. While in Kenya, she took to the challenge and really helped coach our Kenyan Doctors on performing guided physical assessments.
Her favorite part of the trip was being in the villages of Gaitheri and Wamba, "where we provided care to all comers, first seeing patients in the remnants of a stone church and then in a school beyond the outskirts of the village". And the villages remember her as the Mzungu Daktari (white doctor), who would go for a run every morning and evening, around the villages.
During the MMK medical mission trip, “clinical care was a collage of the singsong of different languages, the pain of musculoskeletal aches from long hours and years of working, simple remedies for colds and allergies and more-severe diagnoses and treatments” Dr Diamant reports.