The third full day of our trip began with a tour of the Austral Hospital. We were able to see the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), the pediatric side, and the trauma/emergency center. During this tour of the hospital, we observed many different staff members and were able to speak and hear from a few. There was a very friendly dynamic between workers as could easily be seen through their interactions with each other. After the tour, we spoke with a woman who does research on rats, mice, and sometimes rabbits to study pain and nerves. Additionally, we visited the Graduate business school and sat in on part of their class and observed them learning about assembly lines and supply chain through a Lego game. After this we had the opportunity to mix with some undergraduate students from Austral which was my favorite part of the day. They gave us their point of view of the city and talked a little bit about day to day life in Buenos Aires. Even though not all students are a part of the medical program, it all came together to give me a peek inside of Austral’s campus and how they interact with each other. This connects to their Medical Center’s mission statement of “pursuit of truth and a culture of life.”
The hospital staff seemed to pursue truth by providing the most genuine care possible and clearly informing their patients about what is wrong with them, and the steps that will be taken to improve their condition. They try and move patients around the hospital as efficiently and safely as possible even when it is very crowded. This helped show that they aren’t hiding things from their patients or causing their treatment and recommendations to be more extensive or expensive than lectures.
The culture of life was seen throughout the hospital staff’s interactions, and the medical center student’s feedback. It appeared that they create a positive and light environment where patients can feel comfortable and visitors feel welcome. Even the security guard that we met was laughing and joking around! I’m interpreting the culture of life at the Medical Center as inclusive, dedicated to the betterment of patients, and committed to the learning of students. All of the staff we met seemed very excited to explain their work to us, and very proud of the changes each of them are making to healthcare. To achieve this mission, I think that Austral is trying to highlight their high level of care and education for medical students. It was emphasized to us many times that it is some of the best healthcare in all of Argentina. They are all helping contribute to this mission through their honesty about the medical system they run.