Practising paeds in Mexico
Ben Hope finds that an attachment abroad can be enlightening
Earlier this year I was able to spend part of my clinical training in Mexico under a scheme operated by the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). SINESP is the Mexican branch of the federation. Although I landed at the dead of night, one of SINESP's representatives was at the airport to meet me. He carried my luggage to his car and drove me to a house that had been bought for use by foreign students. This welcome was typical, and over the next four weeks hospitality often sparkled, making me ashamed of London“s “there's no business like my business” cold shoulder.
My boss, however, a consultant paediatrician, was less concerned with niceties. He “suggested” - in other words, “if you don't agree I won't sign your bit of paper” - that I join the on-call team, starting at seven in the morning and checking sick children until lunchtime