One of the great privileges attending school in New Hampshire is that we have the opportunity to partner with hospitals all over the country. Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico. During our clinical years, our school is committed to letting us learn about different populations and communities. So, for my Pediatrics rotation, I was able to rotate at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), about an hour south of Los Angeles, for three weeks.
And it was an absolutely incredible experience! Most of the patients spoke exclusively Spanish, and we were tasked with either utilizing our own translation or relying on translators available for every department. Transcending language and cultural differences was a huge learning experience for me, in addition to the medicine.
What also was very interesting is that the hospital had an incredible number of specialists. When I told my residents how we had 2 pediatric surgeons and 1 pediatric nephrologist for the entire state, they laughed. CHOC acts as a county hospital for Orange County and provides many more specialists. For example, the hospital has a Neurofibromatosis, a rare disorder, clinic twice a month! I have yet to hear of a single case in New Hampshire. And they have other clinics too–mitochondrial mutation clinic, hemophilia, etc. It’s incredible to see all of these very specific clinics.
It gave me a new perspective on what resources and opportunities are out there.