By Jeanie Park

It is finally the end, and I cannot believe the past two weeks went by so quickly. The two weeks seemed daunting when I first arrived in Panama, but I can now say it was a great learning experience, one that ended too quickly.

My group was caught off guard from the first day of being in the clinic. I would not say we expected something more, we just expected something different. But I guess that’s the first lesson of being on the field—expect the unexpected. This trip was a much-needed dose of reality, as I truly got to experience what it is like to work “on the field.” Professors used to say time and time again that we should enjoy making these hypothetical projects because in the class, we were free to do whatever and were not limited by funding. I understand now what they meant because we were very limited by time, resources, and ideas.

I wish we had more time to work with the community and come up with a better deliverable, but I feel that we at least got to understand the community better, and have made an effort the help bridge the gap between the health center and the people.

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 »