Home » Leah Ortega - UA Global MedCats Study Abroad in Spain

Leah Ortega - UA Global MedCats Study Abroad in Spain

For the summer before my senior year began, I had the opportunity to be a fellow in a program known as the Atlantis Fellowship. This program partnered with the University of Arizona Study Abroad Office to create what is known as the Global MedCats. Through the Global MedCats Program, a group of students travel to one of multiple locations around the globe to gain shadowing hours within the hospital at the specified location.

I was assigned Burgos, Spain for my program. During my five weeks there, I shadowed a different department each week. The departments I was able to explore were neurology, ophthalmology, intensive care, internal medicine, and the digestive department. Between each one, I learned valuable lessons, such as the types of patient-doctor relationships, the work ethics of the hospital staff, and I had the opportunity to practice my Spanish. Although I was unable to physically participate, each physician made sure that I understood the patient’s situation and welcomed me into their departments warmly.

When I was not shadowing in the hospital, my fellows and I would experience a more cultural activity. We had a site manager who would plan an excursion for us once a week. These excursions were supposed to teach us about other famous parts in Spain, mostly in the north. For instance, we went to Bilboa to visit the Guggenheim Museum. In addition, the weekends were also open for us to plan our own trips. I personally travelled to Seville, Santander, San Sebastian, and Vitoria-Gasteiz during my free time. Everyone in Spain was extremely kind and welcoming, and I cannot wait to return.