Iquitos clinic day 2 – MaryBeth

Iquitos clinic day 2!

Cheers to another long and rewarding day. Being here and Peru has taught me to appreciate the physical exam skills that I have because that is what you have to rely on when communication is extremely limited.
A lot of patients here complain of multiple problems and pain is a common complaint. I have found that using osteopathic manipulative treatments patient feel instant relief. Today for one patient I did a frontal, sub occipital, myofascial and sinus release for various complaints including headache, sinus congestion, back pain and hand pain.
My research and tuberculosis has come with expected challenges and I have met amazing people along the way. Today a microbiologist that works at the clinic that Michigan State has clinic at offered myself and the other student on that project access to the room where they work with tuberculosis. We did not understand each other’s language so he began to show me different diseases on the microscope that were diagnosed in that clinic. He would .2 photographs of the disease that you were showing me and he wouldn’t drop out on a piece of paper what I should look for. It was fascinating to see yellow fever and malaria on a microscope.
It’s quite the experience and also gratifying to know that over $22,000 were raised I’m behalf of this mission and that our team of medical students, translators, and doctors have all paid their own way to be here.
It has given me faith again in humanity.
In Peru the residents complete 7 years of medical school and then are sent to a rural region for one year with a textbook and basically told to figure it out. In these regions it is not uncommon for pediatric and family doctors to perform what they term “minor” procedures. Minor in Peru is equivalent to an appendectomy. Anesthesia is local or none at all. 
Most rural regions do not even have a single doctor and medical facilities are run by nurses. Doctors don’t want to practice in these regions because the pay is very small. We were told that most Doctors get the equivalent of 1,200 USD per month. 
Working one-on-one with physicians outside of the US medical system is also quite satisfying because we are not micromanaged by insurance companies on what to do and how we should practice medicine.

Categories: Students, Updates from Peru

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