Seth Turner lives in Tucson and is in his last year of medical school at University of Arizona. He spent the month of February 2014 at Clinica Verde volunteering and performing nutrition surveys in coordination with our partnership with Global Student Embassy. Seth will start his residency in Family Medicine this summer.
Describe your experience with Clinica Verde?
I worked with and shadowed the doctors who work at Clinica Verde. I got experience with an Emergency room physician, a Pediatrician and an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. It was great insight into working in a developing country, working in rural areas, and working in areas with fewer resources. It was also great for improving my Spanish skills. I occasionally helped nurses take vital signs and check patients in. I also did a brief health survey with patients over their food and nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices.
What surprised you most about your experience working at Clinica Verde?
I was amazed at the great need in these populations. People are living hand to mouth, and often travel whole days just to be seen in the clinic. It was a very powerful experience.
Is there one patient or experience that sticks out in your mind?
For me as a medical student the patients that stood out were the ones who had long-term sequelae from their chronic diseases. In other words, it was the patients who had been living with high blood pressure, or high blood sugar or rheumatoid arthritis for years without being seen or following a medication regimen. These patients often lived in very rural areas and had no access to healthcare.
What would you say to others considering working at or supporting Clinica Verde?
The health needs in Nicaragua are great and the care and service at Clinica Verde are excellent. The doctors and staff really care, and they are clearly making a big difference in this community.