MPH Panama Practicum 2013: FIRST DAY

Marina Gettas
July 11, 2013

In our clinic group it is: Lisa, Sharon, Sherrita, Angie, Dr. Richardson, Rosa and myself. I love the fact that it is a small group- I am excited to bond with this group!

For breakfast today they had watermelon and guacamole- yum! I love watermelon and guacamole!! That is all I ate, oh and of course waffles, and pineapple.

Lisa, Rosa, and Dr. Richardson put together a Pap test and HPV survey that we would be administrating today in the clinic. Upon arriving to the clinic, Rosa found a room so we could talk and practice these surveys. The Spanish speakers would ask the questions, while the English speakers would write down the answers (I was one of them). Mrs. Lourdes came into the room to check on the surveys, and helped edit it to the culture of the women of the clinic. It was so interesting to be part of this process and to see the adaptation from one translation to a cultural translation. As I was listening to Mrs. Lourdes, Lisa, Rosa and Dr. Richardson talk about the revisions, and as we were practicing the revisions I was starting to pick up the 6 semesters of Spanish that I took throughout high school and college. It definitely made me feel a lot less lost.

After, we went into the clinic to start our surveys. Lisa, Angie, and I were in one group, and we were in charge of the front of the clinic. We interviewed 6 women about their knowledge about Cervical Cancer and the Pap test. We were surprised to see how informed some women were about cervical cancer and the Pap test and how open they were to speak to us about it. We found it interesting that similarly to the states, most women may not know much of what the test, tests, but do it because the doctor advises it. We also found that none of these women knew what the recommended time period between pap tests. On their defense though, neither do we- but we will find out!

When we got back to the hotel, Sharon, Sherita, Angie, and myself, worked on our first group assignment together- it went well! We have a very opinionated creative group- it will be exciting to see what we come up with at the end.

We ended the night with Dr. Louderes lecture about environmental scanning. I AM A RADAR!! It was very informative and interesting to learn how one could tell about the needs of their environment even though not word has been said. It speaks a lot to the idea that non verbal cues could evoke so many different thoughts and emotions.

It was Rosa’s birthday. Her mama was so kind to get us all cake, yummy cake! She was kind to think of us to help celebrate Rosa?s Birthday!

About the MPH Panama Practicum

A group of University of Southern California graduate students are researching public health in Panama City, Panama, for a two-week international practicum, organized by the USC Master of Public Health (MPH) program. This post was excerpted from panama.usc.eduView all posts in this series »