Nick: It was great to back in the emergency department for the first time in a few months, but this time it was in Peru! The department wasn't all that different from what we see in the united states, but certain things did stand out. It's mostly staffed by non-emergency trained physicians, similar to the original U.S. ED's or some contemporary rural ED's that haven't been able to hire emergency physicians. The doctor I worked with today had excellent clinical acumen, and it was clear they rely a bit less on testing and radiology than we do. It was a good shift, and I learned a lot. I'm excited to go back, keep practicing my medical Spanish, and build relationships with the doctors in the ED.
In the afternoon we planned out our outreach activities for the rest of the week, some of which we'll be working on tomorrow. It's shaping up to be a good week!
Johnathan: Our trip started off a little rough, with my donation baggage getting lost somewhere between Miami and Lima. But I knew it would be a fun trip when in the first hour of our arrival, I was able to use my English, Spanish, and Chinese. We spent our first day on travel and getting to know some of our teammates from Massachusetts and New York and then began our clinical experiences today. Along the way, I got to try my first Peruvian street dish, choclo con queso (corn with the largest kernels ever and a side of cheese). Today was our first clinical day and I got a taste of their internal medicine outpatient work with one of the most popular and hilarious doctors in the hospital. Our hosts here in Peru have been amazing as well. The host family made a great dinner of Peruvian tortillas (a kind of chicken omelette) and the staff, Dinah and Allison, have been incredibly helpful. All in all, not a bad start.
Mey: I have been looking forward to this trip and it has not disappointed. On the plane, I sat next to a Peruvian lady who had married a Chinese man and was excited to meet a Chinese girl going to Peru. Even though my Spanish was limited, we had a great conversation and she offered to take us around Chinatown in Lima. So far the people have been amazing in Peru. The driver's wife knew Cantonese and I was so happy to chat with her. We spent the next day traveling from Lima to La Merced. The back drop of the Andes was breath taking. The massive rolling hills, waterfalls and winding roads was worth the long ride. Today was our first clinical experience here. I got to go to San Ramon, the next town over, and volunteered in the maternal/child department. What could be better than working with moms and their babies? Oh, and the coffee here is YUMMY.
Joe: The residency interview season caused me to arrive a little later than the rest of the group to Peru. Unfortunately, this caused me to miss a few days of activities and to travel alone on the two day journey to La Merced. It was definitely an experience traveling all the way from Michigan at 7:00 AM to Lima by 10:00 PM, making it all the way through customs and to the Hostel by 12:00 midnight, and riding on the 10 hour bus trip from Lima at 8:30 AM to La Merced where we arrived at 6:30 PM. Que una viaje larga! I was on the second level of the bus and had a FANTASTIC view of the rolling, serpent-like roads that clung close to the mountainsides. Often the road followed the natural tributaries of the Amazon river that carved out valleys in the mountains. On first impression, the people of Peru are very kind, helpful and interested. The city of Lima was a bit rough, but just outside it the Peruvian countryside is breathtaking. I cannot believe how crazy the drivers are here. Although I have experienced the insane driving of Haiti and other countries, in Peru it is a completely different ballgame because one poor move and you might find yourself rolling down the slope or crashing into the mountain side. I look forward to investigating and learning more about this beautiful country. Stay tuned!