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Review for Child Family Health International, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I participated in the Urban Rural Health Comparative program in Quito and Chone, Ecuador. I had always wanted to study abroad and learn another language. This program was for 4 weeks and it allowed me to compare both rural and urban health care systems to the health care system of the U.S. I thoroughly had a great time! The Spanish classes and living with a host family really helped me improve my Spanish speaking and listening skills. I also learned medical Spanish which was very beneficial since very few of the doctors I shadowed knew English.

I did rotations at community clinics in Quito and various hospital departments in the rural area of Chone. The rotations were 4 hours in Quito. In Chone, we were allowed to do morning and afternoon shifts (but no evening or night shifts). All of the doctors I was in contact with were nice and loved to teach. In Quito, I was at a community clinic that served the poorer population in the hills of Quito. I got a chance to see obstetrics, pediatrics, and family practice. I was there at a time when kids were coming in to get their certificate to attend school. All children had to have a physical exam and lab work done to get a certificate saying they were healthy enough for school. This was neat because it was like all school aged kids started out the school year with a clean, healthy slate. In Chone, I was at a government hospital (Davila Cordova). I rotated through in the pediatric, neonatal and delivery, surgery, emergency room, and internal medicine departments. I also got a chance to observe a doctor doing consultations after her Grand Rounds. Working in Chone was great. I got to do some physical exams on patients and discussed other naturopathic treatments with the doctors. I really like how doctors both answered and asked questions so it was learning on both sides.

Between clinic shifts and Spanish classes there was plenty of time to explore parts of the country and there is a lot to see. The local director planned for our group to go to Banos the first weekend we were there. We were able to hike and do rafting and other extreme things as a group which was fun. The following weekend I explored Quito more which is full of history. The free weekend I was in Chone, my program partner and I decided to take a trip to the coast since we were 2 hours from it. That was fun being on the Pacific Coast in another country. I would love to go back!

In all I would say that with this program it is important to remember to have an open heart and an open mind. You can make the most out of anything that comes your way, just be open to changes.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was able to get preceptorship (shadowing) hours for academic credit at my medical school. Also, because my Spanish has improved, I have been given the opportunity to help teach a Spanish nutritional class. I definitely want to continue work in public health and providing health care to underserved communities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have students in the Urban Rural Health Comparative program shadow doctors in the hospital in Quito and the hospital in Chone.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & I shadowed doctors working in community clinics and government hospitals. CFHI provides service learning opportunities so as a participant, you will not be providing health care to people who ordinarily would not receive it. The patients would be recei.