Leave Atlanta at 2:30PM; arrive in St. Thomas at 9:15PM. That was the plan, anyway. After sitting at the gate (on the plane) for over an hour and a half, the plane’s radio was repaired and we were ready! Just after the announcement to “prepare for takeoff,” we were informed that the radio was broken (again!) and we would be leaving the next morning. After riding on the Miami airport train to two different customer service desks and waiting an additional 2 hours, we received hotel and meal vouchers. We stayed in Miami overnight and departed the next day for St. Thomas. More quality time with my classmates!
It was all worth it when we arrived at St. Thomas and were met with breath taking views, cool breezes, and an afternoon at the beach!
As with most places, there is a big difference in the tourist area and what the locals call home. For the first week of this experience, one group will be working with the Federally Qualified Health Center. They have been shadowing providers and seeing patients along with developing a patient satisfaction survey. My group has been tasked with working on educational materials for the only endocrinologist on the island, Dr. Barzey. She is a passionate clinician who has taught us so much about island culture and the unique challenges she faces as a provider here. She took us to local restaurants and food trucks as we survey the locals and observe what they eat and how they perceive their own health. We are on a mission to develop quality, culturally relevant information about nutrition and activity to help fight the obesity on St. Thomas.
Christina and I look forward to blogging more about our experiences with Dr. Barzey and the FQHC as we learn more about the culture here and how to help these clinics improve the quality of patient care.