iha-reflection-tiffany-forteMany communities have puestos or centros where people may visit a health promoter or nurse for a medical exam or treatment. This is a great resource for rural communities! However, these same rural communities are sometimes visited by physicians just a few times a year. This is a rare opportunity to have a more thorough evaluation of one’s concern or to obtain a medication that is not available in the community.

One patient that I particularly remember was a young woman who brought her infant child in for an evaluation for an upper respiratory infection. She had recently delivered her baby at a hospital. The hospital staff had told her that her child was healthy. While performing the physical exam, I noted a significant murmur. After explaining what a murmur is and the possible implications for her child, we gave her a referral to the local hospital for a formal evaluation with an echocardiogram. By explaining my physical exam findings and educating the patient’s mother, I was able to empower her even more to provide care for her new child.

Tiffany Forte, M4
Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine