U.S. nurse organizing Buddhist medical training for Mongolian doctors

by Ariunbold Altankhuyag, Mongolia Web, June 27, 2007

Ulan Bator, Mongolia -- A United States nurse is organizing training session in traditional Buddhist medical practices for Mongolian doctors.

Sas Carey, a nurse from Middlebury, Vermont, made her first visit to Monglia in the mid-1990’s. While in Ulaanbaatur, she persuaded Dr. Boldsaikhan, who she met at the Institute of Traditional Medicine, to take her on as a disciple.

“Western medicine targets the symptom and assumes the system will heal,” she told the Addison County Independent. “(Mongolians) balance the system, then they believe that the piece will heal. If we can come at it from both sides — how beautiful — then you really heal.”

In later trips to Mongolia she began documenting health conditions among herders and their families in remote regions.

In 2002, she brought to Mongolia equipment for a medical laboratory collected from U.S. hospitals. However, she quickly learned that the methods of Western medicine often were not practical in Mongolia.

For instance, maintaining the laboratory equipment was difficult as many of the materials were designed to be used once and then discarded. Additionally, the limited electricity in some areas made the laboratory impractical.

Now she has begun a new project. Carey is currently raising $25,000 to bring together 22 regional doctors in the South Gobi province. They will participate in a six-week training program in traditional medicine.
Explaining her guiding philosophy, Carey noted, “What they really need is something easy, sustainable, cost effective and culturally appropriate.”