Two weeks has flown by. I’m honestly pretty exhausted, but every day was worth it. I met a bunch of great people, I learned so much about healthcare and the financing of it, and I experienced different people and places than I’m used to.
The mornings and early afternoons were packed with site visits and lectures. I enjoyed all of the site visits, but some of my favorites were the San Isidro Maternal Hospital and the hospice. The maternal hospital was super interesting to see because it was a public hospital. The building is very old, and they don’t have a lot of spare money in their budget to renovate, so the building is in poor condition. It was specifically mentioned that they are almost never completely at capacity because at least one of the rooms would be unusable at a time. However, the nursing director who gave us the tour was very open about their operations, and clearly very passionate about her job. I had a good feeling that the services provided by the hospital were just as good as the private hospital. The hospice didn’t teach us a lot about healthcare and finances, but it was still very educational. We learned about end of life care should be conducted, and how the patient should be comfortable in mind, body, and spirit. It was a very touching experience, one that no one expected, but very important. The owner of the hospice had a very different perspective on hospice care and death, and it was really educational to experience.
The evenings and weekends were filled with more cultural, “fun” activities. I think my favorite was the tango lesson, but I really enjoyed visiting the ranch and the Recoleta cemetery. The tango lesson was so cool to experience, because we not only learned the traditional Argentine tango, but also got to observe the rehearsal of a more modern, contemporary tango choreography (to a Billie Eilish song no less). The Don Silvano ranch was one of my favorite experiences because of the gaucho skill demonstration, the fantastic asado, and the traditional dance medley performance. Recoleta cemetery was interesting to visit because of the mausoleums. I’ve never seen mausoleums before, and there was such a variety to them within the cemetery. It also was very neat to see Evita Perón’s tomb, especially after learning so much about her.
These two weeks were a lot of work, but they were also pretty life changing. I learned so much in such a short period of time about insurance, hospital financing, and even healthcare philosophy. I also learned so much about the Argentinean history and culture. This trip was amazing, and I’m so thankful to have been able to experience it.