Dr. Harvey Hosts Two Vietnamese Doctors for Five Weeks

Two doctors from Vietnam were hosted by the Harvey family in August and September. Dr. Harvey met Dr. Vu Thi Diem (pronounced JIM) and Dr. Van Thi Hoang Anh (pronounced HAN-ANN) through his many Vietnam mission trips over the past several years.

Both earned their degrees as general practitioners from medical school in Vietnam. Dr. Diem is specializing in ophthalmology, and Dr. Hoang Anh in radiology. They have enjoyed their time shadowing Dr. Harvey and other physicians in the Eau Claire area.

Dr. Diem is the chairman of the Ophthalmic Club in Vietnam. When she returns, she will apply for residency. Although the need for ophthalmologists in Vietnam is great, there is only availability for a few students a year to do residency. The other students will have to work in the hospital in the ophthalmology department. Dr. Diem is hopeful that after all the valuable information she has learned from Dr. Harvey, she will earn a residency spot.

UNITED STATES VS. VIETNAM MEDICAL CARE

According to Dr. Diem, ophthalmology is not very good in Vietnam, especially in the small town where she is from. There are so many patients and the need for care is so vast, they cannot take the time they would like with every patient. Because of this problem, “there is not much connection between the doctor and the patient like there is here,” she says.

Dr. Diem explains that there is more technology readily available in the U.S. “Patients can choose if they want near or far vision after cataract surgery, or they can choose glasses or no glasses. Many patients in Vietnam are poor. If they have blurry vision or pain, they don’t go to the doctor right away.”

This is why they appreciate Dr. Harvey when he visits and offers his care to so many. Dr. Harvey says that another future trip is in the works (this will be his seventh). Unfortunately, there are huge amounts of paperwork and hoops to jump through that cause delays, but they are making progress.

Dr. Harvey says that another future trip is in the works (this will be his seventh). Unfortunately, there are huge amounts of paperwork and hoops to jump through that cause delays, but they are making progress.

FIRST TIME IN THE U.S.

Dr. Diem and Dr. Hoang Anh have thoroughly enjoyed their first visit to the United States. “It’s so beautiful here, and the people are so friendly,” says Dr. Diem. Some of their favorite highlights were playing tennis for the first time, picking blueberries on a farm, and attending a local outdoor concert in Phoenix Park.

Dr. Diem (left) and Dr. Hoang Anh (right) enjoying a local outdoor concert in Phoenix Park.

One thing they don’t enjoy here is the coffee, however. Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee producer, and their home town in the Central Highlands is considered a coffee capital. “Coffee in Vietnam is way better, ” says Dr. Diem. “But I like the hot chocolate and root beer here.”

Dr.Diem shadowed Dr. Harvey for several weeks in clinic and in surgery.

She thinks he listens to too much country music.

It has been our pleasure getting to know these sweet ladies and we wish them the best of luck as they head back to their country to serve in the healthcare industry.

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