First impression

Lima is an enormous city, 8 million I am told. I am living in a section of the city called Mira Flores. Its major roads begin at the Miraflores Oval and then radiate out like the spokes of a wheel. They end at the rim, a coastal cliff at least 100 m (over 300 ft) above the beach. The coast is oriented NW to SE. There is a coastal road below and a thoroughfare along the edge made up of a continuous series of quiet streets that contain Malacon in their names. It is pretty upscale. There is a well-maintained park with running and bicycle paths paralleling the Malacon. The park is populated by painted cows – seriously. It is part of a campaign to raise money for charity. We had something similar in Portland a few years back. Instead of cows, they were lighthouses. The temperatures are moderate (mid to upper 20s down to low 20’s/lower 70s to lower 80s) and with the breeze, very comfortable day and night. Despite the proximity to the Pacific, I am told not to expect any rain in Lima. In fact there are areas S of here that quite literally never receive any rain.

Mira Flores and its neighbor, San Isidro, are pretty prosperous. The course directors did not make this choice serendipitously. There is a lot to do and the food is good. It also seems generally clean and safe, especially compared to some parts of the city that we travel through on our trips to other hospitals outside of our home base at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH).

We are carted off to the UPCH at 0715 and then deposited back in Miraflores at about 1730. The campus itself looks like a low security “green zone.” The area is fenced in and entry is controlled at a security gate. Our day begins officially and promptly at 0800. This makes me feel right at home. The only difference is that I am sitting looking toward the front at one person rather than back out on a pod (or is it gaggle?) of students.

The morning consists of 2 one hour talks followed by a 2 hour, small group clinical session. At the later, we review the relevant clinical information, perform focused exams and then discuss possible causes and treatments of 3 – 4 interesting patients. After lunch, we participate in daily labs (malaria introduction and helminths or worms this week) and then attend a final 1 ½ hr lecture. There are field trips on some Saturdays as well. Tomorrow, for example, we head to the Andes to look at working conditions in some of the high altitudes mines.  Our final destination will be at about 4700 m (over 15000 feet).  On the whole, this seems like a well thought out course that is packed with great information.  It is and will be a challenge for me. 

We have 32 students from around the world but most are from Canada, Australia, and the US. Infectious Disease physicians are heavily represented. They all seem bright, knowledgeable and eager. I will talk about the trip if it is interesting and give a little better idea what a typical day is like later.

The word for the week is tuberculosis.



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3 Responses to “First impression”

  1. Roberta Says:

    I checked out the Gorgus Diploma Course web-site.
    It has great pictures of the course and diseases. i hope this is the correct web-site.
    Have a wonderful time.

  2. Susan Says:

    What an adventure. Stay safe.

  3. Kathryn Says:

    Sounds very interesting indeed. I will check this blog regularly to see how everything is going. Enjoy yourself!

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