INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE REPORT

Name of Organization: Belize Family Life Association, also Hillside Clinic
Location (city, country): Punta Gorda, Belize

 

Dates of your attendance:

September 2000 - December 2000
Purpose of site institution (3-4 words):

BFLA: family planning
Hillside: family practice

Is there a language requirement? If so, state language:  

Activities available:

Patient care
Public community health research

 

Opportunities appropriate for:

pre-clinical students
clinical students

  1. Please describe your activities while abroad (eg, seeing patients, clinical research, public health project, etc.):
    I started off at the Hillside cinic, a family practice type clinic in rural Belize. It is supposed to be staffed by doctors from Wisconsin, but unfortunately there were none there during my stay. I saw all types of family practice patients and treated a variety of basic and tropical illnesses.

    I left the Hillside clinic to work with BFLA, a planned parenthood subsidiary. There was an ex-peace corps nurse who was opening up the clinic during my stay. We helped to set up and organize the clinic, publicize it, and saw patients with family planning and women's health needs.

  2. Please describe the range of activities available, in addition to yours:
    There may be some public health opportunities. I believe BFLA had been asked to teach different groups about HIV and STDs, reproduction, and other public health issues.

  3. Would you recommend this institution to other Penn medical students? Why?
    I enjoyed the BFLA work more than the Hillside clinic although my experience at Hillside may not be representative. I think it has been well-staffed since I left.

  4. What did you not like?
    I would have preferred having medical back-up at the Hillside clinic. The clinic had recently built a new facility before I arrived which was funded by a religious organization. This made me uncomfortable at times, but shouldn't discourage anyone with a strong interest in going (there is no missionary work by anyone at the clinic and they claim to be multidenominational, although this means Christian).


  5. Is there an application process for this institution? How does one arrange a visit? Are there important dates to know about?

  6. What costs were associated with the trip, other than transportation. Please include institutional fees, housing costs, food, etc.:
    There were no housing costs at the Hillside Clinic. It was provided on site.

    I paid for my housing while working with BFLA. It cost about 150 US/ month.

  7. Did you receive funding for this trip? If so, from whom and for how much? Please provide important information, such as contacts, application procedure, and due dates:
    No.


  8. Would you agree to be contacted by other students interested in this site? If so, please give your name and contact information:
    Alexandra Weeks
    Email: aweeks@mail.med.upenn.edu

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