Today was another early day as the fourth year medical students and residents ate a quick breakfast and boarded our bus at 7:30am. We were headed for a Hospital del Nino, a children’s hospital in Lima.
Now for a bit of history: Hospital del Nino was founded by a wealthy benefactor, Julia S. De Leguia, as a four-bed children’s hospital in 1929. In 1980, several additional buildings were erected to produce a large hospital campus. Today, the hospital is home to 400 inpatient beds and serves over 1,200 outpatients each day with 3,000 employees staffing the 25 distinct specialties. This facility is considered the top children’s hospital in all of Peru.
During our tour of the hospitals we visited several different wards including, but not limited to, gastroenterology, infectious disease, internal medicine, and neurology. Several patients we rounded on are suffering from illnesses common in the U.S. and are generally receiving the same treatment they would at home. We also saw several patients with illnesses less common in the U.S. such as cutaneous leishmaniasis, eosinophilic granulomatosis, and paracoccidiomycosis. Needless to say, seeing these diseases in real life made a far greater impression than reading about them in a book.
After our visit to the Hospital Del Nino today, we feel we have a much better understanding of the Peruvian health care system, its areas of expertise and its limitations. We think we speak for the entire group when we say this was one of our best activities yet. This hospital will serve as a great learning experience for MSUCOM students for many years to come.
We also received LAN hats that made us easily identifiable in the airport. It was great that LAN sponsored part of our trip and were so helpful in the airport. The hats were pretty stylish too.