Last Week of Clinic Rotations

This week is the last week of clinic rotations, as it is also the last week of the 4-week program. This week I was at Hospital Militar watching surgeries.  

On monday I saw a stomach bypass where they removed part of the small intestine as well as a large portion of the stomach that was covered in ulcers.  

On tuesday I saw a six-year-old with severe bone malformations.  The procedure I saw was a leg extension where they used part of another hip and drilled/hammered it into place above the six-year-old’s femur to lengthen his left leg.  This was because his left leg was around 3cm shorter than his right at the time of the surgery.  

Today, I saw 3 different surgeries.  The first patient had a double hernia just below the belly button.  The second was a ACL reconstruction.  And the third was a skull reconstruction on a man who had fallen three stories and broken the fall with the right side of his face/head. 

Over all it has been an amazing experience filled with clinical rotations, trips all over the country, and meeting an amazing group of individuals.  

Clinic and Baños

For my third week in Ecuador, I was back in Quito working at CEPI.  CEPI is a demonology clinic run by Dr. Santiago Palacios.  This is a private clinic and was really clean and well run.  Dr. Palacios was really nice and welcoming and helpful when asked a question.  The other doctors were nice as well, but kept busy by the number of patients that were there every day.  

For the weekend trip I went to Baños.  Baños is a 4 hour bus ride southeast of Quito. It is a small tourist town that is located in a valley along a river.  There we went waterfall repelling, atv riding, and rocking climbing above the river.  During the day we went around to the different artisan markets.  We ate at Blah Blah cafe for breakfast.  The food there was very good and the pancakes were amazing.  

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atv riding

atv riding

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Day 2: Quilotoa

On the second morning we hiked down to the lake.  The hike started at 13500 ft. and ended around 12500 ft.  This was a beautiful hike down, but a little dusty and busy.  It was busy because a lot of the people ride mules back up from the lake, however, myself and two other students on my program decided to walk back up.

After the morning hike we rode our bikes more and ended in the city of Ambato.  Overall this was great weekend trip and I highly recommend checking out The Biking Dutchman.

Hiking Down

Hiking Down

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Ambato in the back

Ambato in the back

Day 1: Cotopaxi

The day after our trip up to Pinchincha, a group of 11 of us from the July CFHI Quito program started a 2-day mountain biking trip with The Biking Dutchman.  For our first day, we drove 2 hours to near the snow line on the volcano Cotopaxi which is the second highest in Ecuador.  From this point we descended around 4000 ft. on our bikes.  This part was both sketchy and beautiful.

To finish off our day we then drove 2 hours to the top of Quilotoa, another volcano, where in the caldera there is a lake that is nearly 1000 ft. deep.  For the night, we stayed in a hostel that nearly overlooked the lake.  This was a very cold night, and all the blankets along with the wood stoves in each room were greatly appreciated.

Driving up

Driving up

At the top of Cotopaxi

At the top of Cotopaxi

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Riding down

Riding down

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi

Pinchincha

After arriving back in Quito from my week and a half in Chone, myself along with about 12 others from my July program headed up the teleferico (or gondola) to the volcano Pinchincha. This is the volcano to the West of Quito that overlooks the city. Where you get dropped off at the top the elevation is around 13,500 ft. From there, there is a walking path to the top of the volcano, but we did not attempt to climb to the top mainly because of the high altitude. Near the teleferico exit, we were able to take pictures with llamas and were given the sweet clothing to wear for the pictures.

Overlooking the city of Quito

Overlooking the city of Quito

With the llamas

With the llamas

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Chone Hospital

Let’s start this one off with some photos

Before surgery

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After surgery

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In the series: me pre-operation, the doctors inserting the titanium rod into the radius, the reduced bones with their respective titanium rods, and finally the doctors using glorified bolt cutters (very cool) to cut the protruding wires!!!

Today we went into the Chone Hospital at just after 7am, this is the usual starting time.  The four of us (Billy, Tess, Lizzie, and I) began by following Dra. Diaz around, but due to the lack of pediatric cases we went to follow Dra. Pérez and learn about her internal medicine cases.  At 10am Lizzie and I went down to the OR and were able to see the double reduction from start to finish.  It was amazing in that we were able to be fairly intrusive with our picture taking and were allowed to ask questions and actively learn about the procedure.

Chone/Canoa

After a 6 hour buss ride I arrive in the small town of Chone which is West of Quito towards the Pacific Ocean.  At my home stay in Chone there are three other students. Lizzie (Pitzer College ’16) along with Billy (Harvard ’17) and Tess (Wheaton College ’16). The next day (Thursday July 10th) we spent the morning in the Chone Hospital following Doctora Diaz.  She is a Cuban Doctor who moved to Ecuador many years ago.

For my first weekend trip of my time in Ecuador I traveled with my other three housemates to the small beach town of Canoa in Western Ecuador.  The town was no more than a main oceanfront street with only a few side streets.

Food was incredible.

Beach was amazing.

The ocean water was almost as warm as the waters in Hawaii.

The sun however, was more intense and I got sunburned on a few body parts.

There would be pictures with this post, but the camera that we were using got dunked in the ocean and we still have not revived it, so unfortunately you will have to use your imagination.  We stayed in a hostel called Coco Loco which was nice as well as cheap and was as close to the ocean as you could hope to be.  At night we went out to a couple different places (not many choices of night life) and met up with this sister-brother duo from Colorado.  She had been teaching English in Ecuador for 6 months and he was down to visit her.

The beach stretched out for miles and at low tide provided the perfect place for people to run, swim, or play soccer.  During my time in Canoa I did all three.