I came to Mérida because I wanted to take a look and learn about the Mexican health care system, this is my first experience in Mexico.
My name is Andrew Arnold and I had the opportunity to intern at “Clínica de Mérida”, a private clinic in the city of Mérida, the capital state of Yucatán, in the southeast of México. I was born in Kentucky, USA, I study Biology and Spanish at Centre College.
I think one of the biggest differences I noticed between Mexico and the U.S. is the communication between doctor and patients, there is a strong personal relation in Mexico between them. Doctors talk more with patients, communication is more informal and relations here are more horizontal than in the U.S. where you can clearly see the hierarchy between the doctor and the patient.
I think I improved my communication skills, I also learned about the difference of using certain instruments with patients. I noticed in Mexico doctors do a lot of things personally, for example exams or patient notes. In the U.S. they write everything and then send it, it is more personal in Mexico.
I learned how to be humble, because in the U.S. it is very prestigious to be a doctor but in my personal opinion doctors here in Mexico are more humble, they talk and they treat their patients.
In general my experience was very good! I like to spend time with my homestay mom and her grandson José Manuel. There are also a lot of cultural events in town. We went to the market and I bought honey for my mom, a shirt for me and a key chain for my girlfriend. We then went to Progreso to the beach and we also visited Celestun, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, all of this in just 3 weeks!
It is an opportunity to grow and I learned more Spanish because I wasn't able to speak English at work, nor at my homestay. It is a unique experience because at Centre College there are many opportunities to study abroad but not everyone have the chance to work abroad. I think it is very different to work than to study abroad. I think this experience is better because it opens the world to you.