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Auslandspraktikum in der Dominikanischen Republik - Bericht von einer Medizin-Studentin

Three experience reports from the medical internship abroad in the Dom. Republic - Kathrin's report

CATEGORY: Internship abroad - Medical

COUNTRY: Dominican Republic

READING TIME: 5 minutes

Together with her two fellow students, Verena and Lisa, Kathrin embarked on the adventure of a medical internship in the Dominican Republic. In 3 different blog entries, the three friends report on their work in the hospital and life in Las Terrenas.

Here you can find the reports from Kathrin's fellow students, Verena and Lisa:

First impressions of the city of Las Terrenas

The town of Las Terrenas is located in the small province of Samaná, a peninsula in the north of the Dominican Republic. There are many pristine beaches that you often have to yourself, especially in the low season. The sea really is turquoise, provided it hasn't rained the days before. There are also a few other highlights that you can visit. These include the "Los Haitises" National Park where, with a bit of luck, you can watch dolphins in the wild or the famous "Bacardi Island". You can also take guided tours through the coffee and cocoa plantations, for example, which is also very interesting.

We always felt safe, although the crime rate in the Dominican Republic is very high. Nevertheless, we avoided walking the streets alone at night - especially as women. It is very dangerous in the slums in the capital Santo Domingo, as a tourist it would be very reckless to enter them, as they are also avoided by the locals.

Typical foods in the Dominican Republic are rice with beans, tostones (fried plantain), chicken, yucca and yaroha (chicken with chips, mayonnaise, ketchup, gratinated with cheese). Probably the most famous dish is "pica pollo" (deep-fried chicken with chips)

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The accommodation

Our arrival at the accommodation was initially a surprise, as the hygienic conditions and amenities, such as hot shower water, did not meet our usual standards. The tap water was not drinkable. Despite these adjustments, the experience provided a valuable insight into a different way of life. The exchange with many young people on site who were in the Dominican Republic for similar reasons to us was particularly enriching. This communal experience and getting to know different perspectives was an unexpectedly positive element of our trip.

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Hospital experience

We received a very warm welcome at the hospital. We were allowed to insert IVs, prepare and administer syringes and infusions in the first few days. We were free to choose our own working hours and were able to create our own roster. We quickly realized that there weren't very many patients there and therefore not as much work as in Austria. But that was perfectly fine: "Different countries, different customs" - and above all a different attitude to life. We were also able to pass on one or two tricks from home to the nurses here. In the end, one thing is certain: the experiences we were able to gain during our time at Las Terrenas Hospital are unique and, in our eyes, represent a very valuable resource. We have also learned to appreciate our healthcare system in Austria more. Here, every patient has to pay for their own stay and treatment, which many cannot afford.

Written by Kathrin from Austria (intern in the Dominican Republic with StudentsGoAbroad)