In the United States, you never witness hundreds of people waiting in the scorching heat, sweating and dehydrated just for a visit to the doctors office. But in the city of Iquitos in Amazonian Peru, this was the scene as we first approached the clinic we set up the night before. Not only were they patiently waiting, but they greeted us with open arms and cheers, praising the Michigan Doctors that had come to serve them in any way that would be helpful.
In the States, we would complain of the wait time and the lack of movement or time spent with the patient. Here, that never happens. Instead, they allow us to take an hour and a half lunch break, only to be waiting in the same spot as before to see us in the afternoon. Then we see them for about 5 minutes, and we move on to the next patient. This was the scene in the clinic of Iquitos. Very humbling and rewarding. A true cultural immersion so distinct from the States, that can only make you appreciate how lucky we are to have health care back home. I will be forever grateful for this experience and was greatly honored to have served the citizens of Iquitos regarding their health concerns.