Written by Sarah Simmons, MD, PGY-2 at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology Program while on Global Health rotation at Funbichoco/Hospital San Francisco de Asis, E.S.E., in Quibdo, Choco, Colombia in January-February 2017.
I had been to Colombia before, but under much different circumstances as a tourist visiting the country’s largest tourist attractions of Bogota and Cartagena. This time I flew into Quibdo, a small city of 100,000 inhabitants that many Colombians have never been to, let alone foreigners.
Quibdo is humid, densely packed, surrounded by thick rainforests, and located near the Pacific Coast. It is separated from more major cities by muddy, unpaved roads and a network of rivers. Quibdo is located in the poorest state of Colombia (Choco) and is inhabited largely by Afro-Caribbeans, although there is a minority indigenous population who live on the city’s outskirts and neighboring villages reachable by boat.
Our first week was spent working shifts on Labor and Delivery at San Francisco Hospital working side by side with local Family Medicine and OB/GYN physicians delivering babies, triaging consults, and rounding on antepartum patients. Particularly unique cases included