On Sunday, June 17…
The first weeks in Córdoba have passed extremely quickly! Between adjusting to the culture, speaking Spanish for most of the day, attending class and visiting the hospital, I have been constantly busy and exhausted. Although I was warned many times about being tired from speaking a different language and adjusting to the culture, I could not fully grasp that concept until I was here. The days in Argentina are very long - some people here wake up around 7am and do not go to sleep at night until well after midnight. There are four meals per day, and dinner is not eaten until (at the earliest) 10:00 PM. The length of the day and the meals here were definitely my biggest adjustments, and I am now accustomed to drinking more coffee than I used to and integrating a merienda (a snack eaten between 5-7 PM) into my day. Another significant adjustment here is the fluid time. I have learned that Argentinians value relationships over keeping a strict schedule, so something scheduled at 7:00 could start any time between 7 and 7:30. People also do not arrive early to events here, which was a change for someone who normally arrives 5 minutes early for everything. Overall, I love living in Argentina. The culture, people, and food here are all lovely and I am greatly enjoying getting to know this country.
As for my internship, it is definitely unique from any experience I have had before and different from my expectations. I spend every morning in the public pediatric hospital for a few hours, and I rotate through a different service every week. It is a great deal of observation and I sometimes struggle to keep up with the medical terminology used when the doctors are diagnosing. I am learning a lot, and the doctors are very patient and generous with their time. They explain everything to me, usually after they have already explained it to the parents of the patient. As I become more accustomed to the language, however, I am at least able to chat a little bit more with the patients and physicians.
The other part of my internship, the Spanish and culture classes, have been very interesting. My Spanish classes are at the advanced level, meaning my class covers less grammar and mostly cultural competency. I am enjoying learning about how I can be both a culturally and linguistically competent physician in the future, and feel more prepared to spend time in Argentina as I learn more about the culture.