Matthew Metzinger participated in the Puebla, Mexico study abroad program during the 2013 fall semester and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. He went on to attend the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and graduated with an MD in 2019. Dr. Metzinger is currently in his second year as an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He reflects on his time abroad and how it impacts his work today.
I still fondly remember my time studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico. I am truly fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience with my host family, with whom I still stay in contact, and to have made several long-lasting friendships, as evidenced best by our program's Group Me still being active some seven years later.
In terms of the impact my experience in Puebla has had on my life, I often think about my clinical rotations in the public hospitals of Puebla and the visits to the rural hospitals throughout Mexico, too. It goes without saying that there are drastic differences in our hospitals here in the United States compared to those in Mexico, but what I still appreciate, more than ever, is that even with limited resources, there was always a focus on providing the patients of Puebla the best care.
This message has resonated with me as I have been practicing medicine for the past year and is a jarring reminder to me that being in a state-of-the-art hospital or having the most advanced clinical resources does not equate necessarily to the best medicine. Instead, as was seen on countless occasions during my time in Puebla, Mexico, the relationship between the physician and the patient is what makes for the best medicine and I try to let this be my guiding light when at work.
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