My name is Erica Melton and I took the opportunity to complete one of my APPE rotations abroad in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. I am a small town country girl, and never before had I done anything like this. I hadn’t flown on an airplane since I was two years old, had never been out of the country and rarely went anywhere outside of Kentucky. I had (and still have) a strong interest in learning the Spanish language, and one of my classmates approached me about going to Ecuador for a rotation. At first I was hesitant about leaving my husband for 6 weeks, but I finally decided to take the chance. I am so glad I did!
Yes, there were days (especially the first week) that I thought I was out of my mind for living in a foreign country for six weeks, but I don’t regret any of it! The people at the clinic were amazing! They were so loving and patient. My biggest struggle on this rotation was the language barrier, but they were very understanding of that and very, very helpful. In the middle of the rotation, the brigade team from the University of Kentucky came, and I am so glad I was there during the brigade. It was awesome to get to work as a multidisciplinary team to help those that otherwise might not have received care. I left Ecuador knowing that I was able to truly help people. It was an incredible eye-opening experience working at the clinic.
I strongly recommend this rotation to anyone who is interested in the Spanish language and helping people in need. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about those six weeks.
To hear more about Erica’s program, check out her blog!