Tomorrow I leave to go back home. It has been an amazing two-months here in Cartagena, Colombia, and I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity. I have learned so much from so many people from the clinic, and it is information that I would never have been able to learn otherwise. I have made so many connections that I hope will be just as strong back in the US. Neurocysticercosis is a Neglected Tropical Disease that I had no idea it existed and how many people it affects annually. DukeEngage gave me the opportunity to go out in the real-world and experience what is it like in a field that I hope to be a part of in the future. It reconfirmed my decision to pursue medicine and my passion in neuroscience. Being that research was important to me to explore, the clinic that I worked at allowed me to dive deeper into that field. On my second to last day, I was able to give a presentation about this parasitic infection and everything I learned during my two months here. This gave me a chance to finalize and prove what I learned to other medical workers in the clinic that could potentially help them with diagnosing and treating patients. Besides my project, I was able to integrate myself in my surrounding community and learn customs that I would have never realized just from visiting on vacation. Additionally, due to the fact that both my parents are Colombian, I got to explore a side of the country that I barely remembered. Since we usually only visit the capital, my time in Cartagena opened my eyes to another side of country that has its similarities but also possess its unique customs. Even though I am sad to leave the Cartagena community, I cannot wait to come back and share my experiences with everyone.
This is my presentation that I gave to the clinic: