The first hospital I'm working at is Hospital Notti. It's a children's hospital, state funded, for people without insurance. The building is quite old, but fit for purpose. Unlike in the UK, most things are not digitised. For example, physical copies of radiographs are in patient notes, and the doctors scribble letters quickly at the end of each consultation to give to the patients.
I'm currently specialising in cardiac surgery/cardiology. The work mainly involves congenital heart defects. I've seen children in clinic with VSDs, cardiomyopathy, Down's Syndrome and a girl who has only one ventricle. I also watched the repair of a large VSD on Tuesday.
The team at the hospital are all very welcoming. My supervisor, Daniel Nendo, speaks very good English, which was very useful as it has been a little overwhelming trying to follow things in the hospital. The other doctors speak little English. Some of them speak clear Spanish and I've had some excellent teaching from them, and they make sure I understand what they say - some of them however do have very strong accents, which I'm still finding very difficult!
My Spanish is improving as I get more confidence in speaking to people. It's still much easier when speaking one-on-one. In large group conversations, by the time I've understood what's been said, thought of a reply, and translated it, the conversation has moved on! But it's still useful to listen to the conversation to get used to the sounds of people speaking and I'm starting to understand more and more.
On Tuesday evening I met some US students studying in Mendoza and was invited for drinks on Wednesday, where I made friends with some exchange students. The people here are all very welcoming and I'm starting to get used to all the kisses involved in greeting and departing people!
Tonight we're having our first asado, followed by Jessi's famous chocotorta, which I'm very much looking forward to!