written by Anthony
Earlier this week a 21 person surgical team from Houston joined us and shared our living space here. They were here to do plastic surgery and ob/gyn cases in the hospital across the street. They did a bunch of cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries as well as a lot of ob/gynecology stuff for patients drawn from distant parts Guatemala. Carrie and I spent one day helping them out which was pretty cool. I worked with the plastic surgeons in a few cases but mostly helped them communciate with their patients and hospital staff, helped write orders and checked up on patients. I felt really useful as I had enough medical and language knowledge to really help them out. I’m not quite fluent in Spanish, but in the field of medicine it’s always been true that ‘when no one else knows how to do it, you’re the expert.’
As far as clinics go, I’m getting slightly more comfortable with my role in seeing patient’s here. Dr. Pope has been having me see patients relatively independently here which was initially a bit anxiety provoking as I wasn’t confident in my language skills or my medical knowledge. It’s definitely been a challenge but it hasn’t been impossible as I had feared and I’ve been learning a ton. Dr. Pope is a very laid back preceptor and readily helps me out whenever I need it, whether for medical knowledge or for Spanish.
We had a really cool clinic in a very small rural village of Tamil this week. We drove a long way down a dirt road and parked at the top of a small valle, after which we climbed out of our truck and grabbed our large pharmacy boxes and carried them for about 15 minutes down the valley, over a small river, and then up the other side to a beautiful white church overlooking the area. We had a couple of premed students with us (from the aforementioned surgical team) during the day who helped us out which was pretty fun. We saw a lot of interesting cases and the people were really grateful, it’s been my favorite clinic so far. We just finished up our two-day run at the Aselsi clinic which was a little more difficult but still a good time.
Carrie and I have been spending our late afternoons meandering around Santa Cruz del Quiché and have been finding more and more to like about this small city, from little cafes to interesting graveyards and other sights to see. It’s growing on us little by little and definitely not as bad as I imagined.
Anyways, time to watch Saw II.