So what is the health studies program?
As I’ve mentioned many times, I studied abroad with IES, specifically participating in their health studies program. I knew that if I got the chance to study abroad, then it would be somewhere in South America. I also wanted to go on a program that felt unique and special to me. I had heard about the health studies program since my freshman year, so I decided to research it once it came time for me to apply to an off campus program.
Since I was on the PreMed track at Hope, I realized that this program was perfect for me. It checked many things off of the list that I had created to decide on a location to travel to for a semester. This program was in a country in South America, it allowed me to learn a different culture/dialect than what I know about Ecuadorian culture, and the most intriguing part – it offered clinical observations.
If you are someone interested in public health or in a pre-health profession, then this program should be on your radar. Every week, I was able to partake in a clinical observation. Clinical observations can be compared to job shadowing different doctors, units, and hospitals/clinics. As part of the program, you take two classes in Spanish which go hand-in-hand to help you learn about the Chilean health system and support your learning so that you are prepared for clinical observations. I was able to learn about the Chilean health system but also be immersed in it, which allowed me to fulfill my goal of obtaining a global perspective in terms of public health.
The knowledge that I have been able to obtain from the courses and clinical observations allowed for me to get job shadowing experience, have a professional experience in a medical setting, an insight into disparities within healthcare systems, and medical Spanish that will be helpful now and in the future!