I chose Work the World as the program fitted with my specific rotation needs and timing, it was exceptionally well organized and included so much (housing, most meals), which made it simple for me to attend. This was greatly appreciated.
Before travelling to Peru, the Work the World staff were incredibly helpful and available, which made it easy for someone with a hectic schedule like mine to participate. This includes everything from helping completing documentation required by my university to participate, providing an indemnity insurance recommendation, packing advice, etc. The schedule they provided kept me from procrastinating and potentially not getting necessary things in time.
I wanted a Spanish course and a place to work on my medical Spanish, and Peru was in the top 10 on my countries-to-visit bucket list.
During my placemenet my medical Spanish improved significantly. I was able to practice reading actual radiograph films and learned about some different medications that we don't have or use in the US.
The most interesting cases and presentations I have seen on placements are Neurocysticercosis and a gastric tumour (well, likely a tumor - it was a large polyp on the gastric fundus) I saw in GI Endoscopy. This all can be traced back to resources and money. To be honest, I was impressed with all of the available labs and services, as prior to going to Peru I expected much less.
In my country we have gloves, masks and hand gel everywhere. Our patients don't have to pay for supplies before they are used, which is a blessing but that often leads to waste and taking things for granted.
I travelled to Colca Canyon, which was absolutely beautiful. I went with my roommate (and now a best friend) to 2 different regions of the canyon on 2 weekend trips. Both were amazing. We rented a car one weekend, which was wonderful because it allowed us to travel at our own pace and see things on a much closer level. The other trip was a 3 day 2 night hike in the canyon. It was an adventure hard to adequately describe in words that I will never forget and definitely recommend to those up to the challenge.
I'm currently writing from Puno. The town is quaint. The food is delicious. The boat trips to the Uros islands...it's something unique to see.
I highly recommend the Work the World program in Arequipa specifically for the following: -
- The fantastic local staff
- The Spanish program. Maria truly cares about her students learning/improving their Spanish
- The clinical experiences I had
- A city with endless sunshine, delicious food and the Urchucuta at the Museo del Pisco
I hope everyone else that attends is as lucky as I was to have been paired with a roommate so perfectly matched that they are able to leave with a new lifelong best friend.