Residents in the Department of Pediatrics have the opportunity to spend a month in Guadalajara, Mexico at the University of Guadalajara School of Medicine, Hospital Civil Nuevo. The University is a level 1 public hospital that receives adults and children from five states in Mexico.
Residents need to know some Spanish, but fluency is not necessary, as many hospital staff know English. The quality of teaching is excellent. In the Pediatric Emergency Department, there is a minor illness clinic and a major illness clinic. Sick newborns delivered outside the hospital are admitted to a 15-bed unit in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Trauma patients are also seen in this major illness clinic area. There is an oral re-hydration clinic that is common in Latin countries, but seldom seen here. Children with 10% dehydration are treated without checking chemical profiles and 80% of the children do not require admission to the hospital.
The hospital is well staffed with nurses, support staff and each unit has a social worker. The pediatric units are colorful and child friendly.There are various clinics that see a host of non-critical patients and the staff is eager to teach student visitors.
The sister institution to our program, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a program there for treating cancer using St. Jude protocols and a Bone Marrow Transplant Unit funded by St. Jude as well. Staff from the two hospitals visits each other several times a year.
This exchange program offers the pediatric resident a unique opportunity to experience how Latin countries have organized their health care with extensive local and regional clinics that see thousands of patients yearly.The program was developed by Dr. Alicia McClary in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Dr. Robert Van Walling in the Department of Pediatrics in the academic year of 2002. It has been popular with students at UT and especially with students in Mexico.
Students and residents from UT are housed generally by Mexican families and are provided some meals. Rent for bedroom space is very reasonable. Residents and students are responsible for their airfare.