This trip was the best experience of my life. I was able to see do things that most medical students don't get to do until their 3rd year. I witnessed the miracle of birth first hand. It was definitely the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed. I was also able to observe multiple surgeries including one on a spine, one on an eyeball, several C-sections, an abdominal hernia repair, and an emergency appendectomy. I personally got to vaccinate people in their homes and out on the street against influenza and HPV. I also learned how to insert IVs and how to suture. I was even able to participate in a medical campaign that served nearly 150 people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to receive medical attention. Also during the same campaign, nearly 300 people were fed a huge hot meal and all the children were given toys, clothes, and school supplies. It was a truly eye-opening experience to see the gratitude people had, even if all I did was check their blood pressure.
I had the opportunity to watch many different health professions during this trip, which resulted in me changing my desired career path not once, but twice over the course of the five weeks. Now I am bound and determined to become a surgeon one day! This was an amazing trip that not only assured me that I am meant to be in the healthcare field, but also sparked my determination to achieve my goal of one day becoming a doctor. My passion for medicine has only grown stronger after this experience.
Another fun part about this trip was learning Spanish. Communicating could sometimes be extremely frustrating, but if I learned anything it’s that a smile in universal. I have so much respect for people who up and move to another country without knowing the language first. It can be really scary when you are in a room full of people and can’t speak with any of them. I am proud to say that by the end I was bargaining in shops and holding basic conversations. Practice, practice, practice!
Aside from the medical volunteering, we were also able to travel all over the country on our free weekends. I visited Mancora, Huaraz, Cusco, and Lima while I was there. I climbed mountains, rode horses on the beach, and even saw on of the seven wonders of the world. Peru is a beautiful country with lots to offer. I would definitely recommend a trip to Machu Picchu.
Over the course of the 5 weeks I made some amazing friends, met some wonderful people, saw amazing medical procedures, and learned a ton about Peruvian healthcare. I gained first-hand experience that fueled my desire to become a doctor, and was able to help people in need. This trip was truly a blessing, and so were all of you.
Kallie Dalton, US,