As the exodus of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo continued this spring, a team of student emissaries left for neighboring Macedonia on April 22 to work in a refugee camp served by the medical relief organization Doctors of the World. Margaret Bourdeaux, Seth Goldbarg, Vivian Lombillo, Sharon Chekijian, Aaron Covey and Anya Szeglin were accompanied by their preceptor, Pamela Perry, M.D., assistant professor of surgery (emergency medicine), and by Emine Alijaj, R.N., P.A.-C., a physician associate in the Emergency Department at Yale-New Haven Hospital who was born in Kosovo and speaks Albanian.
The students traveled as volunteers and made themselves available to distribute blankets and oral rehydration fluids, set up tents, dig ditches and change bandages. Before their departure, the group consulted with faculty on medical and psychological issues, as well as the culture shock they can expect to encounter in the camp and upon their return. The students planned to stay in Macedonia for four weeks before returning to New Haven.