Wednesday, June 15, 2011

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

Studying never really ends.

Alissa and I spent our first week in Ecuador in an intensive, 7 hours daily Spanish course. I feel like my Spanish has improved much since the beginning of the trip, but it is very far from where I want it to be. Especially for use in the clinics. Poco poco I guess.

My weekly schedule:
Monday: San Francisco University with Dra. Bustamante to work on Maternal Mortality project
Tuesday: NOVA Clinica, to observe Dra. Bustamante and her husband in their private OB/GYN practice followed by la clase de espanol in the afternoon
Wednesday: Pifo, a rural public clinic an hour away from Quito
Thursday: NOVA Clinica, la clase de espanol
Friday: Pifo

The private and public health care systems in Ecuador are very different, and I feel fortunate to be able to observe both. The private health care system is basically like our CAP experience. Consultations can last up to an hour, and a vaginal exam and ultrasound are conducted for almost every patient. In Pifo, the doctors see 20 patients in one morning and each patient gets 10 minutes, tops. However everything (aside from medicines, but including all forms of contraception) is free. But of course with less time per patient and less resources, some things must be sacrificed. One of which is sanitation. Some of the cleanliness practices in Pifo would make these doctors fail their PBEs. For example, I don't think I've ever seen my obstetrician wash her hands. And the table where she does the vaginal exams doesn't even have a changeable sheet over it.

More on private vs. public health care later.

Funny Ecuadorian Spanish words I have learned this week:
Guaguas = children
La Trompa = Fallopian tube
Planificacion = family planning
Hacer cola = to wait in line

I'm off to Guayaquil and Montanita this weekend, hasta luego!

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