Med school in Uruguay is organized the same way as in the US, except we have 3 years of classes and 3 years of rotations, instead of 2 each. I have just finished my third year, which means I will be starting rotations next year. And I cannot wait.
Medicine and the complexity of the human body are fascinating to me, but applying it to real-life situations, and interacting with real patients, is what I really want to be doing. As life would have it, I’ll be starting with OB-GYN followed by pediatrics/neonatology. However, I am certain that I will be faced with a much different reality than what I saw in Chad while volunteering. According to the World Factbook published by the CIA, Chad ranks 3rd on the list with highest maternal mortality in the world. Uruguay ranks 136th just above the United States ranked at 138th. It will be nice to see an overwhelming majority of happy mothers and healthy babies.
I have also applied for a rotation in anesthesiology in Poland for July 2018, which, pending agreement from my med school, should be a great experience. My rotations are scheduled by the university for me, so I don’t have much control. And after a year of pause and having a real vacation, I am planning on going back to Africa (South Africa this time) for a rotation in Emergency Medicine, in January 2019.
It’s amazing to me that one of the strongest reasons why I didn’t start med school sooner, was the time it would take to complete it. Six years seems like a really long time before you start. But a year goes by, then another, then another, and when you look back, you can’t believe how fast it went. I’m halfway done! Even through the tough times and the struggles, it truly is a privilege to be doing what I love and learning about amazing things every day. I wouldn’t change a second of it.