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BU Abroad: Pediatrics in Ecuador

Rounds in a Quito hospital become an eye-opening experience

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In the slide show above, Hilary Gallogly (MED’09) offers a tour of conditions inside the Baca Ortiz children’s hospital in Quito.

Last February, Hilary Gallogly worked in a children’s hospital named Baca Ortiz in Quito, Ecuador, helping mothers and their babies untangle myriad medical issues. She also experienced firsthand the worldwide disparity in health-care standards.

“I’ve developed a healthy respect for where other people come from,” says Gallogly (MED’09). “People don’t come from the same health-care system that we do. We have different expectations, different fears, different assumptions.”

Gallogly honed her language skills while dealing with all manner of pediatric challenges, including pneumonia, respiratory issues, seizures, and brain damage. By using elective time, she didn’t have to alter her required medical rotations.

Although differences between the Quito hospital and facilities in the States are profound, she learned much that she can apply in her residency in general surgery at the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California, a facility affiliated with the University of California at Davis.

“I was impressed by how much they were able to do with their limited resources,” she says. “Their physical exam skills are far superior to the doctors in the United States; that’s really mostly what they have to rely on.”

New linguistic skills are also invaluable.

“I’m using my Spanish every day with my patients,” she says, “and I feel that my time in Ecuador tremendously improved my ability to both communicate with, and understand, the cultural background of my patients. This will help me as I build a career in surgery.”

Read more at BU Abroad.

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