January 27, 2015
We are now in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This is our first week-long family vacation since venturing to Ethiopia. It is a tropical paradise.
February 1, 2015
True vacation style, I didn’t even crack my laptop while on vacation. Now we are in the airport at Dar es Salaam, waiting to fly back to Addis Ababa. It is hot. Really hot. Josh, Sonja and I are hovering under one of several air conditioning units propped up throughout the terminal. Mark is under another one, talking on his cell phone to his sister, Mary, using the rest of his Tanzanian cell phone minutes. It is so humid we can see the cool air condensing as it pours out of the air conditioner. Most Mzungos are red faced with drips of perspiration curling at their hairlines. The Swahili look more comfortable. I don’t know if it’s a façade or habitude. Ah well, soon we will be back in the altitude and cooler weather. Sea level in Africa is hot. Fortunately, there is the sea, being sea level. The Indian Ocean winds blow with such force that I felt there should be small craft warning flags flapping on the beaches. Instead, kite surfers whip up and down the water surface. Local fishermen raise their sails from sea-worthy wooden canoes to glide over the coral reefs. White sand, white like powdered sugar white, blows across the poolside deck. Yes, we have been in paradise.
Kristen A. Austin, M.D.Kristen A. Austin, M.D.
Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Robotic Surgery
Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy (Laparoscopic), Blood Management Techniques, Cervix Dysplasia, da Vinci (Robot-Assisted Surgery), Gynecological Surgery, Hysterectomy (Laparascopic Supracervical), Hysterectomy Total (Laparascopic), Hysterectomy Vaginal (Laparoscopic-assisted), Hysteroscopy, Incontinence (Female), Laparoscopic Surgery, Menstrual Disorders, Office Surgery & Procedures, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Pelvic Relaxation Surgery, Pelvic Support Problems, Urogynecology
- Accepting Children: No
- Accepting New Patients: No
- Accepting Medicare: Yes
- Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Yes
Bill Insurance, VISA, Master Card, Cash, Check, American Express, Discover Card, Sliding Fee ScaleInsurance Accepted:
America's Health Plan, Community Health Plan of Washington, DSHS/Medicaid, First Health, Group Health (limited specialties - call for information), Great West Life (One Health Plan of WA), Health Net Federal Services (CHAMPUS), Indian Health Services, Labor & Industries, Medicare, Managed Health Network, Pacificare of Washington, Private Healthcare Systems, Uniform Medical Plan (WA St Health), Value Behavioral Health, Aetna (All Product Lines), BCE Emergis, Champus/Tricare (Health Net Federal Services), ChoiceCare Network (Humana), Formost, Holland America Line Westours, Molina Healthcare of WA, NorthwestOne, One Health Plan of WA, Premera Blue Cross (All Product Lines), Regence Blue Shield (All Product Lines), StayWell Insurance (Guam), United Networks (United Healthcare), USC Health Services, Van Hall Health, CIGNA Behavioral Health (MCC Behavioral Health), Magellan (Includes Greenspring), United Behavioral Health (US Behavioral Health), First Choice Health Network, United Payors & Providers, Pro-America
I enjoy all aspects of women's care, but have a special interest in urogynecology. I believe that every woman has unique obstetric and gynecological needs and deserves individualized care.Personal Interests
I am a longtime Northwest resident. I am married, have 2 kids, and like to hike, sail and kayak.Medical School
Medical College of VirginiaResidency
Kaiser Hospitals Oakland, Northern CaliforniaBoard Certifications
Obstetrics & Gynecology
January 27, 2015
I am a bit behind in my blog. Life has all of a sudden become rather busy. In the span of a couple weeks we experienced Ethiopian Christmas, a funeral for a beloved surgery professor and the three day festival of Timkat or Epiphany. This alone would have kept us busy, but the hospital has had a flurry of events as well. The fourth year medical students have started their clinical rotations in obstetrics/gynecology, the chief of the department took a one month personal leave, the most senior obstetrician started his six month sabbatical (they are given six month sabbaticals every 7 years), and the third attending went to Kenya for a week-long colposcopy course. That would have left me as the only attending obstetrician gynecologist physician in the hospital. Fortunately, a new attending started this week. This tidbit of information was shared with me the day before he started. This new Dr Yeshiwas is a very kind person. He is one year out of residency in Addis Ababa, and spent his first year of practice trying to make a little money by working in a rural hospital as the first and only obstetrician at that hospital. He is originally from Gondar, his family is here, he completed all of his undergraduate training here, and he wanted to come back. So Yeshiwas and I were in charge of the OB/GYN department for a week. It honestly felt quite nice. Amusingly, I had to sign a few documents written in Amharic, which were then ceremoniously stamped three times before being submitted. I have no idea what I was signing, and there were pangs of guilt that ran through me as I vividly remembered my dad drilling into me that I should never sign anything that I had not read. But I can’t read Amharic with all of its funny symbols, and I trusted the chief resident, Chernet. He told me I was signing the cover letter for the residents’ monthly salary records. I had to sign some other documents that listed all of the residents’ names, so at least it seemed to make logical sense.
Over the past couple of months I seem to have acquired some projects that are starting to take hold. One is ..
Christmas Day for the majority of the world has come and gone. Here, the anticipation in advance of Christmas has only just begun. We are really from the other world, however, so Mark and I decided to allow the kids to stay home from school on December 25th to celebrate “our” Christmas at home. For the few days preceding December 25th, we found things that would be gifts for each other and wrapped them in leftover school work, scrap paper, paper and plastic bags. The kids were more creative, and drew scenes of Christmas on the recycled papers. This year I truly did not go Christmas shopping. Our wonderful friends ...
The birds are beautiful here. Sitting outside our apartment, looking into our courtyard I can watch and listen to a multitude of birds. The small ones seem to come out earliest, singing in their soprano voices. As the sun rises, more birds join, adding their alto and tenor voices. There is even the occasional baritone who sounds as if he is singing from an enlarged globe deep in his throat. The colors of their voices match the vibrant colors of their feathers. It seems that the more vibrantly colored birds appear earliest in the morning, and then they disappear as if to shield their beautiful attires from the glaring sun. I wish to capture some of these birds on my digital camera, but alas, they are difficult to capture. Maybe this is part of their allure. Maybe this is why bird aficionados are “bird watchers.”
This morning I am ...
What a week. I wish I had been writing as the week progressed, but here we are, it is Sunday night, and I will try to capture the events and emotions.
This week the French were here. Three urogynecologists from Paris and Lyon came to the University of Gondar to help teach the faculty some advanced urogynecology techniques for patients with extreme pelvic organ prolapse. Dr Bertrand (“Bertie”), Dr Georges, and Dr Stephan are as French as French can be. I was delighted to try my French language skills and they were gracious enough to let me try. Their English was very good, but in true French form they would prefer to avoid using that language. The French and English have a long history of granting each other plenty of autonomy. These three were no exception. They are also fabulous surgeons. My interest was piqued, and I decided to Google one of their names. Dr Georges’ name surfaced to the top of a dozen prominent gynecology studies, and a few patents involving one of the most successful urinary incontinence procedures available today – worldwide. And here he was in Gondar, Ethiopia!
The residents had ..
It is 05:30 in the morning. I have been awake since 02:30am when Josh walked into our room, febrile and not feeling well. He was ready for his next dose of Tylenol. Yesterday he had his second febrile episode in as many weeks. I freaked out (a little) and decided to bring him in to be tested for malaria. For our $8.00 we were seen by the doctor in the urgent care clinic of the small hospital up the street, had labs drawn (CBC, malaria blood smear, typhus serum test), and were prescribed antibiotics for bacterial pharyngitis, probably strep throat.
But I digress. ...
Facebook is a wonderful thing. My birthday was a couple of days ago and I felt that I received more birthday greetings than I ever have before. Several people sent personal emails, and my parents even called on the phone. I send everyone a HUGE thank you for your well wishes. Life is challenging, and every encouraging remark helps.
Mark went a little crazy and organized a party at our apartment guest house with Josh, Sonja, Janis and Stephan, the other ex-pats living here. We had traditional Ethiopian food, delivered to the door, a couple bottles of wine, and a real birthday cake with candles. Mark decorated the room with a string of holiday lights and frilly banners. Nuru, our most trusted Bajaj driver, apparently drove Mark all around town to find candles at one shop, the cake at another, lights somewhere else, the banners yet another. Josh and Sonja made decorative and artistic birthday cards. Mark’s big present was fixing BOTH toilets in our apartment. He was a little disappointed that I did not show more excitement when his gift was unveiled, because apparently it took several more trips with Nur and many hours to accomplish. I was appreciative, but chocolate and good wine from Janis and Stephan provided more immediate gratification. I think the initial pounds that I lost have been reestablished over the last couple of days of cake and left over injera, tibes, and shiro.
Yesterday was a ...
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