Have you ever seen the ads in EMS and Fire magazines telling readers about employment opportunities overseas? Years ago when I was a young, single paramedic, I gave some thought to what it would be like to work in another country. Sure, the culture would be different, but medicine is medicine. Right?
In the book Paramedic to the Prince by Patrick (Tom) Notestine, we learn that isn’t always true. In Saudi Arabia, medical school and physician jobs are reserved for those with wassta (connections and influence). Diagnosis and prognosis are not conversation topics to be had with patients, either. Instead, providers should tell patients that they will get better, Inshallah (God willing). These are just a few of the many differences Notestine encountered during his work in Saudi Arabia.
Notestine’s literary work stands out among other books by EMS authors. Not only is it well written, but it offers a detailed account of how even the most basic patient care changes from one culture to another. I recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their medical knowledge or experience.