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Martin Huerta Garcia – Universidad de Navarra (Spain)

PEDS 445 – Pediatric Gastroenterology

What has been your favorite part of your elective at UNC?

One of my favorite parts is that it’s a very big hospital compared to where I live. Here we have patients from all around the state so that means that we have many patients whose are very difficult cases and have very rare diseases. I have seen many syndromes here that I had never seen in Spain, and I really enjoy doing research and learning how the treatment and management of these patients is. In this elective I have seen many different diseases I never thought I would see. The attendings have always been very helpful and they have taught me a lot.

How has this experience added to your career goals?

Coming to UNC gives me a different perspective to see how a different health system works here compared to the health system of Spain. It has some very good things and some other which are not so good – for example the fact that some patients have to pay for everything they have done. On the other hand, there is a lot of time that every attending can dedicate to each patient. That is very different from Spain, because there the attendings do not have as much time to care for patients.

What was your first impression?

My first impression was that the UNC Children’s Hospital was very big. Before coming here, I was used to little departments and smaller hospitals. After a few weeks I am getting used to it, and the most important thing is when you start getting to know other people that work here, the residents, doctors, patients, it’s very helpful and it makes the experience more enjoyable.

Some advice about Chapel Hill

I would completely recommend UNC! Everyone here has treated me very nice, they all want me to learn, and they are very patient with the fact that I am a student and with my language. Chapel Hill is a very nice place to live, where most of the people are students, and there is a very good atmosphere with bars and museums… It is very easy to enjoy not just the medical elective but also social life. One of the problems here is that things are far away so if you do not have a car you are a little lost, but if you manage to make friends that have a car it’ll be much more enjoyable. The free-bus system works very good and there are some really nice places to visit near here, such as Duke or Raleigh.