6 December 2023
Two weeks’ work experience in a range of medical settings in Ecuador strengthened Year 11 student Leticia’s ambition to study medicine, as she explains.
Leticia B, Year 11
During the October half term break, I immersed myself in a two-week medical work experience, which included consultations in neurology, genetics, and neonatology. The insights I gained were multifaceted, ranging from grasping a doctor's routine to comprehending the specialised care required for premature infants at Ecuador’s high altitudes.
While delving into the clinical facets of medicine proved incredibly engaging, I also had the opportunity to witness the surgical side of this field. Under the guidance of a paediatrician, I observed a caesarean section - an experience that captivated my fascination for the complex nature of this procedure. Another remarkable encounter occurred under the supervision of a vascular surgeon, where I witnessed two arteriovenous (AV) fistula procedures for haemodialysis. These experiences not only broadened my understanding of medical specialties but also showed me what it is like to use knowledge of the human body to make a difference in people's lives, which truly encouraged me to study medicine.
During my time in Ecuador, I also had the opportunity to contribute to the community, raising money and material for the Instituto Mariana de Jesús in Quito, a special institute for blind children. I delivered talks to school students in Years 7, 8 and 9 on the topic “Hidden disabilities”. Donations to the Instituto Mariana de Jesús go directly towards providing essential resources like braille books, tactile learning materials and Lego Braille Bricks.
Witnessing surgeries and consultations broadened my understanding of the intricacies of various medical specialities. Most importantly, the opportunity to contribute to the Special Institute for Blind Children reinforced my belief in the impact of compassionate healthcare.
Overall, this work experience has enriched my understanding and left me inspired to continue in my aim to pursue medicine as a career, where I can use my medical knowledge to create meaningful change in the community.