A wonderful experience

By Elena Burgaz

A lot to talk about but too tired to talk about everything. Today’s (August 5th) work was exhausting but very fulfilling. The day consisted of very warm and humid hours continuously standing up, but you realized it was worth it when you saw the patient’s enormous smiles or when they profusely thanked you. I started my rotation in the E.R and consequently finished my first day by working in  Pediatrics. I enjoyed every single minute of it, and I really felt I was a great help. For those who don’t know what I do, I am here as part of ASB TUMI 2016 project.


Medical students and doctors wait as they hear their assignments. The excitment is palpitable and we are told hundreds of patients have been waiting since last night to see us.


Tomas Premoli & Dr. Gorz discuss a patient’s case.












I’m in charge on translating the conversation between doctors and patients. I was able to come to this trip thanks to Mr. Christian Orlic, my teacher at the American School of Barcelona, though I live in Barcelona I’m originally from Mexico. Mr. Christian said, “I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn while adding value and contirbuting to MSU’s wonderful project”. Mrs Marta has also provided much guidance in coordianting the trip. I consider myself an international student since I’ve lived throughout the world, including Lima in Peru, therefore I thought I really knew what I was going to see here in Iquitos, but I was totally misguided.


The team breaks for lunch

I thought I was going to find the city in much worse conditions but I’m pleased to say it’s not. Although it not as bad as I thought, it’s still pretty underdeveloped. Although people here face what appears to many outsiders to be terrible conditions, they are always being grateful for what they have. They are also very generous with those less fortunate than themselves. For example the other day when we were on the bus to go to a restaurant, (by the way the food is delicious) I was looking out the window and saw a homeless person sitting down in the street asking for money. I thought to myself that he probably doesn’t get any money because people here aren’t economically favored. But I was wrong, a few seconds later I saw another man, whose clothes suggested he too was poor, come by and gave him a couple coins. I was impressed. They have huge hearts, and they would do anything for their city.


ASB TUMI 2016 & Dr Gary Wilyerd (director of MSU Peru Global Outreach Program).

Going back to medicine I also wanted to share the most interesting thing I saw today. It was during my E.R rotation, with David and Scott (by the way they are wonderful and promising medical students, and they are really funny too). A two year old patient was brought into the examination room. She had a heart condition, very rare in the U.S but common in third world countries. I had the opportunity to listen to her heart murmur, which was very prominent. I loved that experience, since I want to be a cardiothoracic surgeon when I grow up. I also got to see the ultrasound which was amazing. Apart from that case, all cases were also interesting because I got to learn a lot of new things. And even though I’m very young (15 years old) I want to keep coming back every year, even when I actually complete my career goals. I just absolutely loved this day, I would even classify it as one of the best days of my life. Thank you Michigan State University for making this project possible.

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