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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 - Lisa's report

CATEGORY: Internship abroad - Medical

COUNTRY: Dominican Republic

READING TIME: 7 minutes

Together with her two fellow students, Verena and Kathrin, Lisa 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 Lisa's fellow students, Verena and Kathrin:

First impressions of the Dominican Republic

The town of Las Terrenas is located in the small province of Samaná, a headland in the north of the Dominican Republic and is said to be the most beautiful and safest place in the country. There are many picturesque beaches that invite you to linger and swim, the waterfall in "El Limón", the national park "Los Haitises" and the two small towns "El Valle" and "Las Galeras". These secluded, yet idyllic and charming places have very beautiful beaches, such as Playa Rincón, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and the whole world.

In general, however, caution is advised: you are still in the Dominican Republic and you should be well informed about which parts of the city you should not be in and where it is safe to walk around. Speaking only for ourselves, we have always felt very safe in the Dominican Republic, but you should still not be too reckless, especially as a woman.

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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Professional experience in a hospital

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 able to choose our own working hours and create our own roster. Night shifts were also possible, but we didn't make use of them.

We quickly realized that there were not 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.

Usefulness for future professional life

We were able to gain many enriching insights both for our future professional life and personally.

The encounter with different cultures during our internship is invaluable. At a time when Austria is increasingly characterized by diverse cultures, this experience enables us to develop a deeper understanding of the needs and views of patients from different backgrounds. Exposure to different hygiene standards opened our eyes to diverse approaches to hygiene practices in healthcare.

Adapting to other ways of working in the hospital gives us the opportunity to compare different methods and understand the efficiencies and benefits they offer. This strengthens our ability to adapt flexibly to different working environments.

In summary, this hospital internship abroad gave us a valuable insight into different aspects of healthcare. This experience will help us in our future careers to adapt to the challenges of a changing and diverse healthcare landscape.

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Other summary

Accommodation: The accommodation offered a unique opportunity to adapt to local conditions and learn from them. Although there were initial challenges such as basic facilities and the proximity to nature, these quickly became part of the experience. These experiences underline the importance of traveling well prepared - with personal bedding, mosquito repellent, summer clothing, sunscreen and a first-aid kit to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Entry and support: Entering the Dominican Republic is quite straightforward, as no visa is required. However, it should be noted that a fee is payable on departure for longer stays. It is also important to note that travelers must fill out an entry document via "E-Ticket Republica Dominicana" in advance in order to enter the country.

The pick-up from the airport also went really well. The chauffeur was very nice and took us to the bus station and explained the first things we should look out for. We also always had a contact person directly in Las Terrenas who we could get in touch with if we had any questions or needed help.

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