Child Family Health International
November 25, 2013
As a Child Family Health International participant, I traveled to Puerto Escondido, Mexico on the ‚ÄúTropical Medicine and Community Based Care on the Coast of Mexico‚ÄĚ program. The program was outstanding, and the people at CFHI both in the US and while in Mexico were all committed to the wellbeing of the participants and the communities they serve. I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to go abroad with CFHI -- what an adventure! Beautiful beaches, fun music, local food, and surf lessons filled the afternoons and weekends. And best of all, this vacation-like experience included an altruistic mission: supporting the health of the local community. With subtle lessons in cultural competency, the daily experiences abroad have forever made me a better healthcare practitioner to all patient populations. It was both humbling and rewarding to provide primary care in the local health clinics of rural towns surrounding Puerto Escondido. Now, back in NYC, I realize that I am more understanding of many of my patients, in particular who are immigrants, who struggle with a language barrier, or who are from cultures different than my own. Lastly, I am thankful for the language skills acquired in Mexico during the Spanish classes as well as in the clinics, on the beach, and at the homestay. Knowing Spanish, especially medical Spanish, enables me to provide better care for many of my Spanish-speaking patients and allows me to pursue a greater diversity of career opportunities.
I am a nurse; now back in school to become a nurse practitioner. I have student loans and very little time off from school; regardless, I found a way to be an international volunteer. If you like traveling, enjoy challenging yourself, and aspire to be the best healthcare professional you can be, then make the time, find the funds, and go abroad with Child Family Health International ‚Äď ‚Äėlet the world change you‚Äô.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
encourage participants to be hands-on as much as possible from day one. You are there to learn, and the best way to do that is by doing!
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