Our 2017 annual letter is addressed to our dear friend Warren Buffett, who in 2006 donated the bulk of his fortune to our foundation to fight disease and reduce inequity. A few months ago, Warren asked us to reflect on what impact his gift has had on the world.

Esther Havens was ready to take on her true passion, to follow her dream wherever it took her. She wanted to travel the world and help people, so “humanitarian photographer” was the label she gave herself. The task? To help organizations and enterprises obtain photographs for campaigns that would aid the disenfranchised.
Siloam Health stands in a unique place in the landscape of the American health system as a primary care clinic for the uninsured. Shouldn’t our healthcare system be emphasizing quality care for these, the ones who need it most?
The A&E. I have enormous appreciation for the staff, nurses, residents, and attendings I met during my time in Guyana. In a short time, they have welcomed me into their emergency department, helped sharpen my clinical skills, and become a second family far from home. What’s more, there are actually some elements of Guyanese health care that I wish for after returning home, such as universal health care and access to primary care. There were many times I could send a patient from the A&E directly to a specialty clinic the same day. I prescribed medications knowing that patients could fill them for free from the hospital pharmacy. Time and again, I was shown ways in which low resource did not equate to low quality care.
Personally, working in the A&E has challenged me in surprising ways. There are not nearly enough nurses and staff available to start IVs, draw blood, hang IV fluids, administer medications, or reassess patients. Much of that responsibility is left to the physician, and it’s awkward to admit I’ve placed more IVs in 2 weeks than I have in all of residency. Lab results can take half a day to return and a CT scan is often out of the question. While it is actually refreshing to rely on my physical exam, technical skills, and clinical intuition to take care of patients, I feel the weight of each decision I make much more.

Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates.