Students travel to Mexico for Spanish course
Members of the physician assistant class of 2008 pose for a group photo outside the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social, the health care facility where they received their clinical experience. Clara Ramirez, PhD (front row, far left), assistant professor of general studies, Faculty of Graduate Studies, organized the trip, along with Ken Bourne, DrPH (second row, far right), chair and assistant professor of the physician assistance sciences program in the LLU School of Allied Health Professions.
Students enrolled in the physician’s assistant (PA) program, part of the Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions, traveled to Mexico in August for a course in Spanish.
The course, “Practicum in Spanish” (SPAN 123), held August 12 to 19 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, included classes to learn the Spanish language, experiences in a Spanish-speaking hospital setting, living with a host family, and visits to cultural points of interest for 24 PA students in the class of 2008.
For many in the group, the Mexico trip provided their first experience in a clinical setting.
“The hospital was the first real clinical experience we had as a class,” comments PA student Eric Hilmes. “We had just completed our didactic year, and we had not started our clinical rotations yet.”
For some in the group, living with the host family was particularly memorable. Stacy Montz, another PA student, says, “I had a wonderful host mom. She was a fantastic cook, and she even taught me a thing or two in the kitchen.”
Other students were impressed by the cultural and historical sites they visited. “There was a moment,” PA student Ruthie Martin remembers, “when I left my friends and walked up the Pyramid of the Moon, sat down, and looked toward the horizon.” She continues, “It was very peaceful and an excellent closure to the trip.”
Students who took part in the recent Spanish course include Lennard Abejar, Jennifer Bartolome, Sarah Bucker, Vanessa Castro, Scott Denny, Cindy Essayed, Edwin Fisher, Meghan Galloway, Eric Hilmes, Tim Hoang, Jesse Jacobs, Melissa Janovitch, Savita Kumar, Jennifer Lonac, Jennifer Martin, Ruthie Martin, Treanna Mather, Lora Mills, Stacy Montz, Christopher Mundy, Amanda Ricker, Erin Stawara, Derrick Stephan, and James Wiley.
By Larry Kidder, MA