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Greetings from Cuzco, Peru!

1/07/11

Posted by Amy Mugg, MD (a third year Pediatrics resident from Kaiser Permanente Oakland serving a global health elective at The Belen Clinic in Cuzco, Peru).  

Greetings from Cuzco, Peru! Olga (aka Leonor?) and I were shocked to find the above flier plastered all over the clinic building on our first day.  Normally the clinic is not staffed with pediatricians so the children are seen by whoever is available (internist, surgeon, OB, med student, etc).  Despite the publicity, our first day was fairly low volume-which worked well for us as we needed to get oriented to the clinic. By the second day, we found ourselves with 9-12 patients each, per half day, with promises from our patients’ that their siblings would be coming soon.  We’ve also been seeing quite a few of the staff’s children, who seem like they have been saving up questions for a specialist for years. There is no limit to the number of children we will see, so the coming weeks should be very interesting.  As you can see by the flyer, we are scheduled to work from 8 am-noon with the caveat that we see all the children who arrive before they close the clinic doors. A cook was hired to provide lunch, dedicated time in which we discuss our morning cases (in Spanish) with our preceptor and other clinic personnel over home cooked Peruvian food.  Delicioso! The clinic re-opens at 2:30 pm until the doors close at 6pm, with a review of our cases again at the end of the day.

Thus far, the age range of my patients has been from a 1-month to 1 17 ½ -year old and the chief complaints are not so dissimilar from what we see in our urgent care clinics back at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.  Infants with vomiting/diarrhea/dehydration, rashes, poor weight gain, pain with urination, etc.  Stay tuned for a more comprehensive analysis and discussion of our cases as we gather more information. What is strikingly different is the level of poverty and the amount of creativity needed to get patients the medications and services they need. Next week we will begin going out to the rural Andean communities with the mobile clinic twice weekly.  I can only imagine how much more complicated providing care will be without a pharmacy and lab (the Policlinico has both in the building).

Much more to come…

This Post Has One Comment

  1. An exciting flyer indeed, except for Dr. Olga Lemberg’s name written as Leonor Lamberg (lol). The mobile clinic sounds quite challenging but of course, it’s a very worthwhile and needed undertaking. Sounds like you’ll both have to be very resourceful while you’re there. Best of luck.

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