Teaching Medicine in Nicaragua

Posted: March 6, 2017

Dr. Michael Kaplan, CHP Lee Family Practice, traveled to Nicaragua as a medical educator. Here’s his story.

I went to Nicaragua as Tufts Medical School faculty for a group of five 4th-year medical students who were doing a global health elective in a rural clinic. I found them in a very remote area of the North Atlantic region, in Hormiguero. To get, there I flew to Miami then to Managua the capital, and the following morning we flew on a 12-seater to Siuna where we landed on a gravel strip going uphill!

From there, we took a very bumpy truck ride 20 miles to, literally, the end of the road in Hormiguero. Those patients who came to the brigade clinic we set up traveled up to eight hours on foot (or horseback) to get there.  The students all spoke Spanish, and we had interpreters for all patients provided by an organization called Bridges to Community, which also housed and fed us.

It was an especially rich experience for the students to see what life and health care are like so far removed from the rest of civilization. There was a cell tower in the town, and  the image I most recall is a man texting while riding horseback!

I was able to travel around Nicaragua at the end of the clinic experience to see some of the highlights.

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