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Hands on medical work

 

We organize week long medical trips for American health care providers from all backgrounds - physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, medical and nursing students.  

During the five days of clinic work, the provider will be paired with various Nicaraguan health care providers who supervise their work. This is an excellent opportunity for collaboration as both providers discuss various cases both in conferences and at the bedside.  The specific medical work varies according to the training and experience of the American participant.

The clinical experiences occur at various locations including large regional hospitals, smaller central outpatient clinics, and also remote community clinics.  We can tailor the experience to the capabilities and goals of the American participants, while ensuring effective collaboration with the Nicaraguan providers that minimizes disruption in their normal delivery of care

The American participants also give lectures to the Nicaraguan physicians, nurses, and students on previously selected topics, while the Nicaraguan providers teach the American participants about certain disease that are more common in their country.

We always obtain full permission for the medical work through the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and all work is directly supervised by the Nicaraguan providers.  The dynamic is very similar to the resident - attending physician,  or the student nurse - supervising nurse interaction in teaching hospitals in the United States where the learner has an appropriate degree of independence to interact with the patient and evaluate their medical issues, while all plans and decision-making is monitored and approved by the supervising provider. 

The exciting yet challenging aspect for many American providers is coming up with a treatment plan often based only on the history and physician exam.  Most of our clinical experience sites are very resource-poor, and in the remote clinics there are no immediate labs or imaging available.

"Practicing this way for a relatively short time in a place like Nicaragua helps a training physician to develop a deeper level of confidence and competence that otherwise may take years to develop in the states." - Harrison C.

 
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Clinical work The medical experience for the American participants can vary from rounding on critically ill patients in the ICU to going on home visits in the remote communities.