Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bolivia! It's ON!

Today was fairly straight-forward, though I forgot to drink any caffeine so the day started dragging down during the myelosuppressive disorders lecture. My group had two OMM sessions to get through today - the first we had a short quiz (easy) on muscle attachments and worked on some rib muscle energy techniques, then after lunch I had a semi-practical where I had to demonstrate upper thoracic vertebra muscle energy techniques - passed without a hitch.

Now for the good stuff - we had a Bolivia information session today with the coordinator, Dr. Garcia-Russell. I really cannot wait to go - we'll be staying in La Paz with a local family, two or three people per family, and the overall price of the trip looks like it'll be $2,000 - broken down, about $1,000 for air fare, $100 for entry visa because Bolivia hates America (no entry cost for non-Americans), $150 for accelerated Spanish course (50 hours), $100 preceptor fee that goes to the hospital hosting us, $270 for the room and board for 3-4 weeks, and a few miscellaneous costs here and there. It's amazing how cheap everything sounds like it will be - and some local attractions include Lake Titicaca, nature preserves, etc. I was expecting to be staying in a very rural area, so being in La Paz a surprise. Here is a picture of the hospital: Arco Iris.

Check the link above for information about Arco Iris. It looks like it'll be exactly what I was hoping for - a place in South America where they speak almost only Spanish (and a couple indigenous languages, like Amaya), in a climate that is perfectly tolerable to me (it should be cold and sunny at 12,000 feet), and I get to learn more medicine and get a valuable experience. We will be leaving at the end of May, right as our block exams finish, and be in Bolivia for 3-4 weeks, the last week being reserved for social work with an orphanage. Our clinical experience will be rather basic, but we spend a week in Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Emergency medicine, as well as accompany a Mobile Medical unit that goes through the streets and to schools. Some of my family may come down at the end of my internship to spend time in Bolivia or a neighboring country. I'll bring more news later! Now to do more studying...

Oh right, and LASIK is happening, for real this time, third time's the charm - this FRIDAY!

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