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Primary Care & Social Medicine in Cordoba, Argentina

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

First taste of Cordoba

When I first arrived in Cordoba, I was more than little enthusiastic to see how my experience in Argentina will be shaped by my perspective as a (dare I say) adult and young almost-doctor.

I arrived in Córdoba, the second-largest city in Argentina, renowned for it's beautiful colonial structures and for being a center of higher education since the Jesuits established the first National University here in 1613. As a soon-to-be double graduate of Jesuit universities, I was obviously excited to be immersed in a city built on the same foundation. I was met by, Charly, the coordinator of Intercambio Cultural, the local partner of CFHI who made this trip come together for me. Charly greeted me like an old friend with the one-cheek-kiss hello, a simple reminder of the warmth that makes Latin America feel like a second home.

The warm welcome of the ICC team lasted throughout the entire trip, with lectures and day trips that made for an easy, educational transition and very difficult parting from my life in Argentina!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Working in the maternity hospital

Working at Hospital Maternidad was such a fulfilling opportunity where I saw different sides of the field and also conducted my research. As for my research, I ended up interviewing adults instead of adolescents to avoid issues with consent and minorities. I conducted close to 100 interviews in the Obstetrics clinic and in the E.R.. Seeing to better understand what caused such high pregnancy rates. Women were generally open and comfortable with the questions I asked that had to do with level of school completed, if they seeked the pregnancy, and what their future plans were. I felt very comfortable doing the interviews, but at times wish I had more time to talk to the patients but since I was doing the interview during their doctor’s visit, we didn’t have much time. My first questionnaire investigated if women controlled their pregnancies and if they think that it is important to do so. Most replied that it is important, but this didn’t give my any depth. I tried to explore that other factors that I could investigate to better understand why so many women became pregnant at the age of 16-17 and why so many left school even before they were pregnant. Especially when school is free! Even graduate school! To discover these factors I included the following questions:” what is your hobby? And what is your dream?” These responses to these questions surprised both I and the patients. The patients did not know how to respond because no one had asked them such a question before. Many said “I don’t know”, “I don’t have a dream”, and “I like to clean the house”. I couldn’t understand that with all the free schools, why people did not take this opportunity to achieve their dreams. I learned that the Argentinian culture is very different from the United States because in the United States everyone has a dream despite their level of school or their level of economy. After talking with the directors of hospitals, nurses and doctors, many explained that the government subsidies is a major factor contributing the high percentage of people who drop out of school and settle to have a family at a young age. With the government subsidy, the people have a better quality of life compared to those who do work and therefore no one wants to study or work. I went to talk to the director of the Maternity Hospital and Pediatric Hospital to talk about my data and see how we can use the information to improve the conditions. I am in contact with some programs that help pregnant women and they will review my information to talk more with the women about their dreams and hobbies. Also I want to give my information to secondary and primary schools so that schools and teachers can include this sentiment of pursuing one’s dreams in their curriculum.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Social Life

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

Working in the Maternity Hospital in Cordoba, Argentina

Working at Hospital Maternidad was such a fulfilling opportunity where I saw different sides of the field and also conducted my research.

As for my research, I ended up interviewing adults instead of adolescents to avoid issues with consent and minorities. I conducted close to 100 interviews in the Obstetrics clinic and in the E.R.. Seeing to better understand what caused such high pregnancy rates.

Women were generally open and comfortable with the questions I asked that had to do with level of school completed, if they seeked the pregnancy, and what their future plans were. I felt very comfortable doing the interviews, but at times wish I had more time to talk to the patients but since I was doing the interview during their doctor’s visit, we didn’t have much time.

My first questionnaire investigated if women controlled their pregnancies and if they think that it is important to do so. Most replied that it is important, but this didn’t give my any depth. I tried to explore that other factors that I could investigate to better understand why so many women became pregnant at the age of 16-17 and why so many left school even before they were pregnant. Especially when school is free! Even graduate school! To discover these factors I included the following questions:” what is your hobby? And what is your dream?” These responses to these questions surprised both I and the patients. The patients did not know how to respond because no one had asked them such a question before. Many said “I don’t know”, “I don’t have a dream”, and “I like to clean the house”. I couldn’t understand that with all the free schools, why people did not take this opportunity to achieve their dreams. I learned that the Argentinian culture is very different from the United States because in the United States everyone has a dream despite their level of school or their level of economy. After talking with the directors of hospitals, nurses and doctors, many explained that the government subsidies is a major factor contributing the high percentage of people who drop out of school and settle to have a family at a young age. With the government subsidy, the people have a better quality of life compared to those who do work and therefore no one wants to study or work.

I went to talk to the director of the Maternity Hospital and Pediatric Hospital to talk about my data and see how we can use the information to improve the conditions. I am in contact with some programs that help pregnant women and they will review my information to talk more with the women about their dreams and hobbies. Also I want to give my information to secondary and primary schools so that schools and teachers can include this sentiment of pursuing one’s dreams in their curriculum.