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quito,ecuador

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by traumasurg, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. traumasurg

    traumasurg Un Socio
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    Has anyone ever done in medical work in Quito, Ecuador? I will be going to study abroad there, however I am going with a program for medical Spanish. I will be shadowing and shadowing and helping out at la universidad de medicina in Quito. I just wanted to get anyone's take on what healthcare is like in Quito and Ecuador as a whole as well as what the facilities are like in Quito.

    Thanks
     
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  3. scottyT

    scottyT Real Member
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    I've been to Ecuador, but not for medical volunteering work. You have to remember that the country as a whole (outside of Quito) is quite rugged and rural. Some villages are only accessible by footpath and boat. Access to care is an extremely pressing problem and relatively minor injuries (here) develop into major ordeals.

    I can't comment on the state of their healthcare, but I can tell you that your toilet paper has to be put in a trashcan because the plumbing isn't strong enough. That should indicate something about the infrastructure.
     
  4. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    I haven't done any medical work there, but my family is from there so I've been there many many times. The healthcare facilities there on where you are on the socioeconomic scale there...like many other major cities, the disparity between the lower and middle-upper classes is huge. You may be surprised to find that the private hospital there is like private hospitals here in the US. The outskirts of Quito and the greater part of the country is rural, and I'm sure access to care is very limited outside the three or so big cities. You'll likely get to do a ton of stuff you wouldn't get to do here because lawsuits happen very rarely.

    It should be an awesome experience. Ecuador is a beautiful country with a lot to offer (mountains, beaches, and jungle all within a 6-hour drive), so take advantage of it!

    Edit: I'm not sure where the poster above me went, but I've traveled to several parts of the country and haven't yet had to throw my toilet paper away. I'm sure there are parts where this is true, however.
     
  5. dally1025

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    I lived/interned in Quito for 2 1/2 months and I loved it! The healthcare system is behind ours and there are a great deal of people that cannot afford it (one day a young woman brought in her baby~I took the kid to take the weight, height, etc and he went completely flaccid from dehydration. Because the parents could not afford antibiotics the baby came very close to dying. If they hadn't found the $20 for an IV the kid would have died). Most of what I saw was routine and amazingly similar to what you'd see here. They even had drug reps (although they worked a bit differently). However, there were a lot of kids with major health problems because of rotten teeth or other things that aren't very common here.

    The people were incredibly kind and easy going. There are a great deal of travellers and ex-pats so they've developed a good deal of town (the town is divided between Old Town and New Town, give you one guess as to which is more developed). Because they switched to the dollar a few years back there has been more trading with the US so there's tons of restaurants, hotels, clothing stores, etc from the US (although the 3 story KFC was a new idea to me). If you can travel around a little! There's a great deal to see and do and none of it costs very much or takes much time! You can climb an active volcano in the ice, meet a shaman in the rainforest, see some whales, pretty much anything you can imagine.
     
  6. dally1025

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    I travelled through a great deal and went to a number of places in the city and I always had to throw my tp away in the trash if I was at a restaurant or hostel... I never did when I was at my host family's house.
     
  7. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers
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    Wow, within the city? Maybe I've just been going to the wrong (or right) restaurants...
     
  8. runner1323

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    I lived there for about a year, did work in some of the hospitals, and also spent a little too much time at the hospitals for personal reasons. I stayed at the private hospitals which, as someone mentioned before, are very similar to US hospitals. In fact, I never once felt uncomfortable in the private hospitals. The public hospitals are a different story. I did some work there and the standards are much different, not to mention that a lot of people simply can't afford the care.

    I think overall, though, I had an AMAZING experience. Most of the healthcare professionals I met and worked with were very willing to teach me, and I gained a lot through my experiences there. PM me if you have any more questions. I would love to help!
     
  9. dally1025

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    Usually it was just public places. Since I lived in the city I didn't use the toilets too much but if I was out at a internet cafe/restaurant/bar there was usually a sign on the door asking you to throw away tp. It's not really that big of a deal so I'm sure why so many people complain about it. It's a great experience, unless you get hung up on the small stuff like that... Oh, and try the cuy!
     
  10. scottyT

    scottyT Real Member
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    -It's a great place

    -There's a ton of stuff to do, make sure to leave Quito while you're there

    -You'll likely get wonderful experience and pick up quite a bit of Spanish

    -Depending on where you go, you may have the option of either throwing your toilet paper away or flushing it.
     
  11. Timberwolf

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    Haha, I remember all the crazy drug reps (always in suits) and the three story KFC. I was in Quito doing some medical "work" last April/May. The facilities I was in were fine, even the public places. There seemed to be no lack of personnel, and med students running around everywhere. I think it's fairly common for students from other S. American countries to train in Quito. Also, a lot of the docs/students seemed to be able to speak at least some English (or were willing to learn).

    The patients seemed to vary quite a bit. I remember one of the doctoras giving a patient bus fare so she could get home with her underweight deformed baby. Other than that, a lot of patients seemed to be suffering the consequences of poor choices. The diet of the lower classes seems to be mostly pork/potatoes/KFC- even worse than most Americans. A lot of people also hold off on healthcare decisions until treatment is no longer optional...

    As you've likely been told already, crime is also a problem in Quito (unless you happen not to look like a Gringo). Almost everyone on my trip had something stolen from them or had someone attempt to (stay off the Trole with valuables). Ecuador is a beautiful country, however, and I think everyone should go there. I would highly recommend an 8-day cruise of the Galapagos (surprisingly cheap) and climbing Volcan Cotopaxi.
     
  12. dally1025

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    I knew a few people that had things stolen but they were usually doing something stupid. It's like any big city-there's crime. Don't ever carry much cash and if you're a female wear a purse that goes across your chest. If you're sitting in a restaurant or on the bus put your bags on your lap. The city has done a lot to decrease crime in recent years, especially in tourist areas (they've got men on the most street corners near banks, restaurants, and bars warding off crime with shotguns. not sure if it's true or not but I heard the policemen have to pay for their bullets so many only have 1). Just be smart and use common sense~don't go walking down the street drunk and alone at 4 AM and you should be fine.
     
  13. traumasurg

    traumasurg Un Socio
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    Thanks for the input guys. I did a little research and crime was the only thing that concerned me, but the state department said that as long as you stay away from the Columbian border you should be ok as far as major crime(i.e. kidnappings, assaults). Thanks for all the help.
     
  14. searun

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    Try to avoid getting malaria. It is a real bummer.
     
  15. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    Try to avoid getting shot and/or kidnapped :thumbdown:
     
  16. TexanGirl

    TexanGirl runs away from trees
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    Ugh, this is a major pet peeve of mine. It's COLOMBIA, not COLUMBIA. I assure you the Ivy League university is quite safe!
     
  17. ChemEngMD

    ChemEngMD No need to hide behind private profiles
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    ...not necessarily they are kinda close to Harlem lol
     
  18. runner1323

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    I had many friends go to Colombia...it is dangerous but is doable. I would recommend NOT going by bus though...that's where you have problems.

    I would recommend avoiding parasites. I think I had virtually every one possible...not fun.
     
  19. traumasurg

    traumasurg Un Socio
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    I found out that another disease to worry about is dengue fever. I did a little research and it sounds pretty bad.
     
  20. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    Are you going w/CFHI?
     

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