Students explore culture, health care, in Colombia

Students explore culture, health care, in Colombia
UT Health San Antonio students visited Colombia in March. Pictured (in blue) with their Colombian counterparts are respiratory care students (from left) Zahra Almahdi, Jessica Estrada, Kristopher Tran and Vanessa Payen.

While many college students were spending spring break at beaches and resorts, students from UT Health San Antonio expanded their world view March 11-18 by experiencing the culture–and the health care system–in Colombia.

The 16 students, two from the School of Nursing and 14 from the School of Health Professions, were invited to Colombia by the Universidad Manuela Beltran, a Bogota school with health care programs similar to UT Health.

The students spent half days in the classroom followed by afternoons doing clinical rotations alongside their Colombian counterparts. The UT Health students, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory care and nursing, also had the opportunity to explain their programs and training to their Colombian peers.

“This trip meant a lot to me,” said Jessica Estrada, a master’s level respiratory care student and one of the UT Health participants.”It showed me that I am receiving an education in a career that I am passionate about, and it was humbling to me because I am fortunate to have a plethora of resources available to me.”

The students were accompanied by David L. Henzi, Ed.D., School of Health Professions associate dean for academic and student affairs, and Ruben Restrepo, M.D., professor of respiratory care and a Colombia native.

“It allowed our students an opportunity to see not only health care in another setting but to see how professionals are educated in another country,” Dr. Henzi said.

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