Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

Please click the “Donate” link on the side for more details on how to give directly to these communities.

Thursday, January 21

A Very Delayed Week 1!

¡Hola de Costa Rica! Amanda and Andrea did a wonderful job sharing some of our most meaningful activities during our first week.   Im going to try to give a close-up look at our clinic that we travel to in the city of Alajuelita.  During our first week we were able to get acquainted with our host families and the routine of the clinic. 

The main reception area where we check in patients.

Patient waiting area

 Our main volunteer area

Our roles for the day, where we get to alternate each day. WR= waiting room, EX R= Exam room, Pharm= Pharmacy, SK= Soup Kitchen

The clinic is integrated into the community of the small town of Alajuelita due to its high concentration of Nicaraguan immigrants.  The immigrant situation of Nicaraguans is interesting because they are considered "illegal" yet they are accepted to contribute to society through construction jobs, waste management and other jobs less likely to be in demand among Costa Ricans.  Despite their contribution to society, they are not able to purchase Costa Riccan social health insurance and therefore cannot obtain routine healthcare from various E.B.A.I.S. centers or Equipos Básicos de Atención Integral en Salud which serve as first-line health centers.

We see many women and children as well as teenage and adult males.  The doctor provides acute care for non-emergent cases as well as chronic disease management. The clinic helps with managing chronic conditions by giving them a starter regimen for their needed medications as well as plenty of patient education.

I really enjoyed being a part of a few child psychology sessions with the clinic Psychologist, Tatiana.  The conditions that are endured by families can cause young children to find unhealthy and dangerous coping strategies, and it gives me hope that starting regular sessions would improve their coping skills now as well as later during their adult years. 

Looking forward to meeting more people of Alajuelita and being a part of FIMRC's Proyecto Alajuelita!


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