Mexican experience offers different view

The health care in the United States may have its flaws, but when seeing what the health care system looks like in a new country, I realize how lucky I am.

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Published: Monday, 13 Mar 2023 Author: Adam Raysin

Adam wearing a white lab coat in MexicoTraveling from Michigan to the Yucatan Peninsula with the goal of learning and experiencing medicine created a refreshing view of ways to learn. I was able to become hands-on with a type of work that I am very passionate about. Being given the chance to immerse myself in the environment that I have been interested in since I was a kid is an opportunity that I would never give up, and I’m glad that I didn’t. This experience abroad opened my eyes to a new world and culture that has changed the way I view things back home, especially in the medical world. When looking at the hospitals in the Yucatan I began to understand how different the world is to each other. The health care in the United States may have its flaws, but when seeing what the health care system looks like in a new country, I realize how lucky I am.

The host culture of Merida in the Yucatan is different from the culture in the U.S. but not as shocking as it could be. The streets were filled with music, but not in the language you would think. The music was in English. While in the restaurants, we heard music that would be popular in the United States around 2016. After asking people in the same program as me if they noticed this too, I decided to ask a waiter why the music was in English, his response was not what I expected, he said “we like the music more than the music that is in Group of MSU students wearing white lab coats in front of the Hosptial Materno Infantil in MexicoSpanish here.” This really surprised me. The food was also something that I would love to take back with me. The taste of the food was amazing! The tortillas had a taste of authenticity and were warm, also some of the tortillas were blue!

The idea of not being able to understand a native language in a new host country is a myth! There are many ways to get by in a place where you may not know the language. Using apps such as Google Translate are always helpful and even pointing and using hand gestures helped me. In Merida everyone there was more than willing to help, be patient, even try and speak English no matter the situation. I knew from traveling before that there are some people who are willing to help you along the way with a language barrier, but there are sometimes a few people who can ruin it. This wasn’t the case, and I couldn’t be anymore thankful for that.

Adam giving a thumbs up as he stands outside an operating room in MexicoI am grateful for this opportunity. As a Mexican-American being given this opportunity to go back to my home country and experience the culture, language and traditions that is a part of me is something that no words can describe how thankful I am for.

Name: Adam Raysin
Status: Sophomore
Major: History, Philosophy, Sociology of Science (LBC)
Hometown: Grand Blanc, Michigan
Program: Community Medicine in the Yucatan (Mexico)