Peru on world map

Peru – Long term goal for the clinic

November 10, 2007 - Peru

by Steve Henrichon

I have been helping to facilitate a collaboration between UCLA and Real Medicine. We have had talks with the department of infectious diseases at UCLA Medical Center about a potential joint collaboration where UCLA medical students, residents, and public health students could travel to third world countries to receive a unique medical experience as part of their education. , there is no such system currently in place at UCLA…but there is certainly a huge interest amongst the students. The Infectious Diseases (ID) department lends itself quite well to international travel so Dr Risa Hoffman and her supervisor Tom Coates from ID have taken this initiative under their wing. The idea is that the students and residents will travel to our developed Real Medicine clinics around the world to work for a month or two. They could go to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, India…and hopefully Peru!! They will either travel in a supervised capacity with the program director if they are a student, or an unsupervised capacity if they are resident.

This is a lofty goal but it really has a lot of potential as both UCLA and RMF seem committed to making this work. The trick is that each clinic site and program would have to somehow be accredited by UCLA in order for the students/residents to receive approved credit for their experience. I would love for the Peru clinic to someday be in a position to receive medical students or residents. We have been making Dr David and Dr Guillermo very aware of this possibility so they can do everything possible to ensure success of this program if it does come to fruition. I will be working hard towards this goal when I return back to the states.

It is could potentially happen sooner rather than later. We have already been speaking with Jerry Galea in ID. He not runs the bed-and-breakfast the we stay at in Lima, but he is also the Peru Country Director for the ID department at UCLA. His work involves HIV research in Peru. We have discussed the potential for some HIV research to be conducted in rural Peru out of our Medical Clinic…which will also lead to HIV prevention/education initiatives in the area, and possibly even treatment. We have been associating with the medical community in Pisco for the past 3 weeks and I have not heard the word AIDS (or SIDA as its known here) even mentioned once. By spearheading an AIDS related campaign with Jerry and UCLA’s help, we would be one of the first to educate the community.

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