Health in Belize

Summer is a time for college students to relax and leave the stress of classes and exams behind.

But for 18 pre-health and pre-med students at the University of Georgia, the summer of 2022 was a time to get firsthand experience in the world of international healthcare.

Health in Belize in a three-week trip abroad that dives into healthcare in Belize and how it differs from the United States.

The trip counted for six credit hours for BIOL 4910 Topics in Biology and BIOL 4940 Internship in Biology and fulfilled UGA’s experiential learning requirement.

Students applied with the Office of Global Engagement and were selected after a round of interviews.

Health in Belize is led by Dr. Hilda Mata, director of Africa/Latin America programming incentives with UGA’s Office of Global Engagement, and Amanda Spohn, coordinator, pre-professional advising at UGA. The group was rounded out with Dr. Amy Baldwin, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

“We are so grateful for the Belizean people, who share their experiences of healthcare with our students in order to assist in their learning and education,” said Baldwin.

Before the group left for Belize in May, they underwent orientation sessions including a session on cultural sensitivity. Students were also treated to a tour of the Medical Partnership campus.

The students got a taste of the healthcare world in Belize through guest lectures, tours of public and private healthcare facilities, shadowing opportunities with clinicians, and conversations with volunteer community healthcare workers from rural areas.

“We were impressed with the hard work of all the students, as they were thoughtful, diligent and reflective,” said Baldwin. “Belize is a beautiful country, and we all learned much about healthcare, history, and their rich, amazing cultures and people. We thank La Loma Luz Hospital and Toucan Education for the excellent opportunities provided to our students, including programming, speakers, and preceptors for many hours of shadowing.”

Baldwin said she was thankful for the opportunity given to this deserving group of students.

“The trip was an amazing experience for both us and the students,” said Baldwin. “What an amazing gift.”

To learn more about Health in Belize, click here.

For more information about attending the Medical College of Georgia at the Medical Partnership campus

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