God’s Provision in…A Trip to the Clinic


We learn something new with each trip we take to town.

The other day, we learned how a third-world medical clinic operates. While nothing is clean or in excellent condition, per se, the office was standard for PNG–needless to say, quite a departure from what I’ve experienced in America. But while it was jarring to my American senses at first to entrust my medical care here, it was also very good.

This is where people who live in Madang come when they need medical care. Like the woman next to us with the five week old baby who had brought in her baby for jaundice and losing weight. Or the man from the Finisterre Mountains who had received his master’s degree online from Santa Cruz University in California with the itchy head. This is where they come.

After I wrote my name down, the PNG doctor called me in and asked me questions about my fevers–half in Pidgin, of course, which made communication a little more difficult since I only have four weeks of Tok Pisin under my belt. He listened to my heart and back, pushed on my stomach, neck, and back, and then had a young man prick my finger and drip a few drops of blood onto a microscope slide.

That’s right. A microscope slide.

Minutes later, after the doctor had a chance to look at my blood, he diagnosed me with something bacterial, akin to Ecoli since the first night I got sick was right after eating a fresh salad at a restaurant here in Madang. He wrote me out a prescription and told me to return in a few days if I didn’t start to feel better.

My souvenirs from the doctor's office and pharmacy

My souvenirs from the doctor’s office and pharmacy

Yes, there were dirty floors, broken linoleum, and chairs that were taped together. Yes, the examining bed I was asked to lay down on was covered in a worn, thin cloth that clearly could not be wiped down after each patient. Yes, the only instruments used to diagnose me were a microscope and a good, old-fashioned stethoscope.

Yes, it was very different than the doctor’s offices I am used to.

And yet, I stepped out of that office and into the Madang heat and humidity holding that prescription and feeling as though I had been cared for well medically. It was an answer to prayer and a mercy from God and I am thankful.

They even have Saturday hours.

1 Comment

  1. Love this.


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