Health Studies Program in Chile

As I blogged in a previous post, I was part of a health-studies clinical observation program as a part of the IES Abroad program.  In this program, we have a Medical Spanish course that meets 3 times a week, a biweekly public health seminar course and a weekly field placement.

My field placement was under Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s School of Nursing.  Initially, I wanted to sign up for public health placement for health education but due to limited spots, I did not get the placement.  Luckily, the clinical observations placement that I was put in was much better than I expected.  Rather than only shadowing nurses and doctors, we were able to assess several health systems ranging from substance abuse rehabilitation homes to visiting indigenous Mapuche machi (Mapuche healer).  It definitely sparked an interest in both medicine and public health for me as it allowed me to even co-write an article on alternative and complementary medicine implementation in Chile’s healthcare system.  But if I were to state some of my most impactful experiences of the program, I would say that witnessing my first birth, visiting a Mapuche ruca and a woman’s abuse rehabilitation home, along with watching 4 surgeries in one day were some at the top of the list.  To those who are interested in medicine and are hoping to study abroad, I would highly recommend doing this program as it will also give you tools to serve patients in Spanish and gain a global perspective on medicine. Below, I have some miscellaneous videos and photos from the program.  For privacy purposes not many could be taken during my experience.

Visiting the Mapuche ruca where we were shown many medicinal herbs that are used to alleviate certain illnesses.
Visiting a dialysis clinic. Met a patient that visits clinic for his dialysis regularly and returns home after. Unlike him, many other patients are on dialysis permanently and are unable to leave the clinic.


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