What Did I Learn From My Internship at Vissum:
The main reason why I chose to study abroad in Spain was to learn medical terminology in Spanish. My internship at Vissum helped me expand my medical terminology vocabulary. At the end of the internship, I was able to translate from Spanish to English all the learned medical terminology. The unique aspect of the internship was shadowing different ophthalmologist and optometrist. I followed the patient's journey the first second they arrive at the check-in counter, through the eye exam performed by the optometrists, through the in-depth medical examination performed by the ophthalmologist, through surgery, and through post-surgery consult. It was amazing to see how doctors help their patients improve or get rid of ocular problems. The most meaningful thing I learned at Vissum was that a doctor should practice medicine with humbleness.
Doctors I Got to Shadow:
Dr. Alió del Barrio was my internship supervisor. Doctor Alió del Barrio specializes in cataracts, cornea and ocular surface, general ophthalmology, and refractive surgery. I had to privilege to shadow Doctor Alió del Barrio in consult and refractive surgery. The most compelling case I witnessed was of a patient who had caterpillar hairs perforating the cornea. Another compelling case I witnessed was a cataract surgery of a patient who had Parkinson's disease. Doctor Alió del Barrio was able to accommodate to his patient’s needs to be able to perform the surgery and give his patient comfort.
Dr. Amesty specializes in oculoplastic and orbital surgery, and pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. I had the privilege to shadow Doctor Amesty in consult as well as in surgery. My favorite case I witnessed was a surgery of a boy who was blind in one eye. Doctor Amesty reconstructed the eye with permanent ink, being very meticulous of every drop of ink used. By the end of the surgery, she reassured that the color of the reconstructed eye matched the boy's natural eye color. Doctor Amesty does not just perform surgery, she improves the lives of her patients to give them a comfortable life.
Dr. Amat specializes in cataracts, general ophthalmology, and retina and vitreous. I had the privilege to shadow Doctor Amat in consult as well in surgery. It was astonishing to watch Doctor Amat perform cataract surgery because he had to coordinate his meticulous hand movements with his feet to press on the pedals. An impacting case I witnessed was in consult of a little boy whose eye was not well developed and was missing part of the eye tissue. Doctor Amat tried to give the boy the best comfort possible because the vision cannot be improved.
Dr. Lugo specializes in general ophthalmology, and retina and vitreous. I shadowed Doctor Lugo in consult. The most interesting case I witnessed was of a man who had sand inside his eye. The sand caused ulcers in the cornea caused by rubbing of the eye. Doctor Lugo allowed me to translate the consult from Spanish to English thus being able to put the learned medical ophthalmology terminology in use in both languages.
Dr. De la Vega specializes in general ophthalmology, and retina and vitreous. I shadowed Doctor De la Vega in consult. An enthralling case I witnessed was of a girl whose mother on accident inserted her fingernail into her daughter’s eye. Fluorescent eye stain covered the eye and under the microscope's blue light the ulceration of the cornea was visible. The insertion of a fingernail into an eye can cause ulceration in the cornea.
How Did Vissum Impact Me:
Vissum became my second home in Spain because I spent most of my time there. I was always excited to go to my internship because I learned something new every day. There was never a day that was the same. There were always different patients, different ocular complexities, and different stories. Being able to do an internship at Vissum was the best part of my study abroad experience in Spain. I did not just witness how medicine is practiced in Spain, but I was also able to interact with patients from all over the world. The thing that makes Vissum unique is the medical staff that works together and act as a family. I had only been four months at Vissum and they already cared a lot about me. They told me to email them once I had arrived in the United States to make sure I was okay. Doing an internship at Vissum helped me narrow down that I would like to practice the medical specialty of plastic surgery. I am so grateful to have done an internship at Vissum and I hope that one day I can return.