Rachel Himmelstein

A Community of Service Interim 2010
State Health Clinic, San Cristóbal, Galápagos, Ecuador


The third day in our volunteer work at the public hospital we were given the grand tour of the hospital where we were showed the “many” departments that the hospital had to offer. The grand tour lasted about 10 minutes but in the hospitalization section we met a doctor who was a gynocologist. We learned that as part of the medical school edcuation in Ecuador, doctors have to do a year of “el rural” which consits of offering their medical services to a rural area in Ecuador for what would be considered the last part of their residency. It was interesting to know that most of the doctors that are doing this last rotation are really young usually around 23/24 years of age. I was suprised to think that most of these doctors were already treating patients yet they were only a year or two older then me. The gynocologist, was really friendly and helpful in wanting to show us different aspects of the hospital. He suggested that we shadow him during some of his patient consulations to get more exposure to the direct practice of medicine with patients. Even though he seemed really young to me, when he interacted with patients of various ages he assumed the position of an older parent or mentor. One thing that made this person interesting was his flexibility when interacting with his patients dispite his age. . . . By observing how this doctor interacted with his patients, it made me realize that there is no ideal age that has to be reached to show geniune concern or interest in persons health and to do something about it.