Two weeks filled with: learning about the Argentine health system, eating tons of empanadas, making new friends, living a once in a lifetime experience. In the two weeks that I was in Argentina I was able to experience an entire new culture that I was emerging myself into head first.
The main focus of our time in Argentina was to gain a better understanding of their healthcare system. This entailed hospital visits, lectures from physicians and from entrepreneurs trying to improve the efficiency of hospitals, community center visits, and many others. Being a business student who did not already have a strong understanding of the heath system in the United States it was eye opening to me to see what practices were being implemented in Argentina. Although I am not a health major, I came to know a bigger part of the importance of the health system, as a business, that must be successful in every way that it can in order for the people to get the best care possible. During our time in country one of the most impactful places that we visited, to me, was the Hospice center. I talked about the role of this center in a previous blog, but I wanted to emphasize this center again because they had a true appreciation and belief in comforting a patient towards the end of their lives. Something so valuable, and done in a way that speaks to the kindness the people at the center possess.
In regard to the more culturally focused activities that we did on the trip, I really enjoyed visiting Palermo and La Boca where we got a tour of the town, the street art, and were able to attend the market. I also really enjoyed visiting the Modern Art museum in BA and the Eva Perón museum. These more culturally focused trip helped me keep in touch with the cultural roots of the trip, and better appreciate some of the places were able to go to.
If I were to choose the most important thing that I learned during this trip or the most important thing I gained from this trip I would say this: The quality of the service a Buenos Aires patient receives is just as good as the physician that is serving the patient. Although it is common for many of the community centers to be understaffed and be lacking resources, the people that provide the care generally radiate a passion for bettering the health of the community. In many of the places we visited we were rarely told that patients may receive poor care due to poor quality of physicians. Rather the problems the healthcare system faces lie beyond who is providing the care, and fall into the hands of who is providing the resources for these facilities.
Taking a step back, I felt like this trip allowed me to grow as both a person, but also as a business student. The last two weeks showed me how lucky I have it, and left me astonished at the strength of those Argentinians who are struggling.
I can not thank the two leaders of my trip Grant Martsolf and Brad Miner enough for starting this program and giving us all the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires. I also wanted to thank Mrs. Tafel for assisting me on the payment of this trip through a Pitt Study Abroad issues scholarship. And of course my parents who also helped me fund my travels. With all of your help I was able to learn so much about myself, but more importantly the world around me.