Rural Family Medicine

General Project Information
Type of Project: 
Date of Experience: 
05/07/2012 to 06/03/2012
Project Description: 

This rotation is at a clinic in Ollantaytambo, a town of approximately 1000 people in the middle of the Andes, which serves several mountain communities and towns along the Sacred Valley floor. The clinic is mainly walk-ins, with a small inpatient unit for those too sick to go home, yet not critical enough to be sent to the nearest city for treatment. The rotation was spent seeing walk-in patients, conducting medical interviews, doing physical exams, shadowing during minor interventions, and occasional home visits.  The placement is through an organization called Awamaki, which is establishing its own clinic for provision of free health care - something students may be involved with in addition to rotating alongside Peruvian physicians. Prevalent issues in this region are malnutrition, teen pregnancy, gastrointestinal disease, respiratory tract infections and soft tissue pathologies.

Student Experience
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Description of Student Experience: 

Working at the Centro de Salud was truly an eye-opening experience, with regards to the medical practices in place and the perspectives Peruvian physicians hold. Students are given an enormous amount of freedom to examine patients and make decisions regarding their treatment. At this clinic I had the opportunity to see walk-in patients, tend to inpatients, make house calls, and assist with deliveries. The patient demongraphic was quite varied, with a significant pediatric population. In addition to working at the Centro de Salud, I also had the opportunity to spend some time at a private clinic (Kausay Wasi) in the neighbouring town of Coya, which offers free health care to locals. The clinic receives teams of specialists every month from other parts of the world, which attracts a large variety of patients with interesting pathologies. It was also fascinating to see the stark contrast between the public system and a private clinic run by volunteers. Students are not required to do call at the Centro de Salud, so there was a significant amount of free time on evenings and weekends for travelling and local hikes (which are amazing!). Ollanta is a small town, but its strategic location between Cuzco and Machu Picchu makes it a hub for tourists, and a great base for weekend excursions. Intermediate spanish is highly recommended.

Organization Information
Name of Organization: 
Awamaki - Contact: Keri Baker
Description of Site: 
Rural health care centre
Main Language Spoken: 
Other Language(s) Spoken: 
Other Information
Program Cost: 
Housing Details: 
Homestay Family

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