Monday, February 18, 2013

Mixta Aldea Los Pajales

Today was one of my favorite clinic days. I always enjoy trips to the rural mountain communities, and this was certainly the most scenic destination to date. It was a long trip of course, on curvy mountain roads, but well worth the trip.

We saw around 350 patients, but we would have seen more if we had allowed in the patients with "counterfeit" paperwork. Every patient has an intake form, with a unique number. On almost every day, someone photocopies a form, and distributes them around the community. When we see the same number more than once, we know this has happened. This is a problem because we carefully plan the number of patients and amount of supplies, and we also track data after we get home. When people try to sneak past us this way, it's not fair to those who are following the rules and waiting their turn. So today, we redirected these people to a line where we gave them vitamins, and sent them on. It was a long line:
Finally, today I am highlighting the hardworking students who have mostly been working in OB/GYN. For obvious reasons, I don't wander into that area with my camera, but that also excludes those students from the blog.
Bottom left is Rachel High. Rachel says, "It has been most rewarding to me to treat causes of pelvic pain in these Guatemalan women. Some complain of months or years of pain, which has a negative effect on their sex lives and general well being. The women are thankful to have an answer and even more so to know their symptoms will go away soon. I am happy to know we are preventing future spread of STDs and risk of infertility, and improving quality of life."
Bottom right is Suzie Suozzo. She says, "It has been amazing being able to provide patients with care they wouldn't otherwise receive. We had one patient today who was pregnant and in her third trimester, but had never seen a doctor. This is her first baby and she is only a teenager, so we were able to do a great deal of counseling to help her know what to expect throughout the rest of her pregnancy. The people here are so sweet and appreciative and it's such a privilege to be able to take care of them."

Others in the back row are Amy Rice, Dr. Alejandro Aju Coy with Guatemala DOCARE, and Maggie Boucher, a nurse from California, and also a fluent Spanish speaker.

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