Today was our last day hosting a medical brigade for the native Hondurans. We traveled a shorter distance in the opposite direction of the clinic we hosted for the past two days to a smaller village called Alto del Estiquirin. Although we expected fewer than 200 patients, we actually were able to help nearly 300 by the end of the day!
I did a gyno rotation today and was completely humbled by the doctor´s trust in me to perform a pap smear. If you know anything about the procedure, you know how invasive it is. Not to mention the female patient was completely exposed waist down in front of two other Rice students other than myself, a translator, and a doctor. This experience definitely would not have been available to me in the U.S., nor would the average American patient have felt as comfortable as the Honduran patient did in that vulnerable position. We have a lot of social constructs that help shape American public culture. One of these constructs is humility. While a medical student (not to mention an undergraduate student) has way less experience than a professional who has been practicing for years and it makes logical sense that a patient would feel more nervous receiving an exam from a student vs. from a professional, I definitely noticed the difference in patients´ attitudes. The Honduran natives feel fortunate to receive any healthcare at all. They aren´t choosy. I guess sometimes we don´t always need what we want.
We also played soccer (futbol) with a few of the younger boys and amongst ourselves and the Global Brigades staff. Soccer is such a crucial component of Honduran culture, not to mention Latin American culture in general. Playing a pick-up game made me realize how much I miss the sport. Also, I was a vocal team member on my club and high school soccer teams, but I think being a coxswain at Rice has really made me even more comfortable shouting things out at my friends…because there was definitely an aura of competition during the game. :´)
No joke, I had to make so many edits to this post because the computer on which I am typing autocorrected so many words to Spanish translations. The punctuation symbols are also located in different positions.