Overall Rating:/ 10Hello future volunteers! If you are looking to gain more clinical experience while perfecting your Spanish, then this program is definitely for you! I am a pre-medical student at the University of Pittsburgh who decided to spend two weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina volunteering at Hospital de Clinicas. That decision was one of the best I have ever made. I worked in the departments of pediatrics and gynacology for the majority of my time. I got to shadow a variety of physicians in clinical scenarios, interact with patients, attend medical lectures, tour the medical school, and so much more in my short time abroad.
One of the best parts of my experience was building connections with the medical personnel in Argentina. I truly grew close to the staff and felt very comfortable around them. All of the physicians were very receptive to my questions and were willing to teach me a variety of things. We had discussions ranging from the human anatomy to the Argentinian healthcare system. Conversing with them every day really improved my Spanish, especially my medical terminology. By the end of my two weeks I was able to better assist physicians by providing medical tools, supplies, and anything else they required.
Working directly with the patients was an extremely enriching opportunity. I got to play with kids prior to their appointments with the physician, but more importantly I got to teach them to feel comfortable at the doctor's. Interacting with the kids one on one gave me the chance to teach them valuable lessons such as the importance of check-ups, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. In the gynaecology department, I was able to oversee consultations and various clinical procedures. I met a variety of patients, each with a different situation that exposed me to treatment plans and healthcare issues. Since I have already shadowed and worked in both departments in the United States, I was able to see many differences, but more interestingly I was able to see many similarities!
Beyond the medical aspect of this program, there are many other great opportunities that you should take advantage of. For one, I worked closely with the Spanish School near my hostel in order to perfect my Spanish and better get to know the natives. Additionally, I became close friends with fellow volunteers that I was able to share my experience with. These are friends that I am sure to have for a lifetime. Since I only volunteered mornings to mid-afternoons I had the opportunity to go out at explore the beautiful city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is truly "the Paris of South America." The food, people, culture, music, architecture, and overall liveliness of the city was energizing.
While I wish that I could have extended my stay, I know I will be back! I am forever grateful to Love Volunteers for giving me this invaluable experience! I am happy to recommend this program!