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At the same time that the pandemic has introduced new challenges into global health work, it has provided unprecedented opportunities for direct observation of societal responses to public health emergencies.


Interhealth is working with revised formatting to allow maximum educational exposure to these adaptations, while at the same time meeting individual needs and goals of participants.



Two- to Five-Week Study Periods


Participants elect to take part in one of six modules, each of which places emphases in specialized areas.


During the first two weeks the group visits urban and rural health facilities in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains, and participates in patient care health brigades while studying medical Spanish under the guidance of physician program directors. During week 3 participants take part in clinics and hospitals in urban Quito on a more individual basis while continuing language instruction. In week 4 the group travels to the upper Amazon River basin rainforest to observe operation of health facilities, and assist in rural health brigades. Week 5 takes place back in Quito, with a focus on intensive reinforcement of medical language development.


The language portion of the program emphasizes medical Spanish vocabulary acquisition and use, and patient interviewing skills development.


The director is a North American physician who remains in Ecuador with participants for the majority of the time of the program.


Week 1:  Urban Quito and Rural Mountain Imbabura Region


* Move in with Quito host families, general orientation

* International health conferences

* Medical Spanish: getting started

* Travel to Imbabura region, lodging in small indigenous community

* Group tour of mountain communities, overview of health problems

* Visits to local health centers and hospital

* Patient care in group rural community health brigades

* Individual participation with indigenous health practitioners

* Visit to regional indigenous marketplace


 Week 2:  Rural Imbabura Region and Return to Quito


* Patient care in group rural community health brigades

* Individual and group rural indigenous health care activities

* Visits to community health centers

* Intensive Medical Spanish classes

* Sweat lodge health activity

* Return to Quito, lodging with host families

* Patient care in urban Quito community health brigades


Week 3:  Quito Patient Care and Continuing Language Development


* Individual clinic/hospital healthcare sites

* Patient care in group urban health brigades

* Intensive medical Spanish classes

* Group visits to medical school and historical medical museum


Week 4:  Rural Tropical Rainforest


* Travel to rainforest, lodging in environmental lodge

* Overview of healthcare provision in a rainforest setting

* Patient care in group rural community health brigades

* Observation of healthcare activities in rainforest health center

* Visits with indigenous rainforest health practitioners

* Guided observation of rainforest medicinal plant uses

* Return travel to Quito, rainforest health debriefing


Week 5: Quito Special Programming in Urban Marketplaces


* Morning participation in group education and development programs with children of urban marketplace workers

* Afternoon intensive Spanish language classes

* Final medical Spanish learning experiences



Interhealth South America

30404 Holly Drive USF

Tampa, Florida 33620