Clínica de Familia La Romana - La Romana, Dominican Republic
Clínica de Familia La Romana - La Romana, Dominican Republic Clínica de Familia La Romana offers a community and global health experience for students, trainees, and volunteers, providing learning opportunities, clinical rotations, and research or public health projects. Since 2002, Clínica de Familia has received hundreds of students from Dominican and foreign universities.
Clínica de Familia is a community clinic, providing outpatient care to the general public and to vulnerable populations, including people with HIV, children and adolescents, immigrants, sex workers, and the LGBTQI community. Our services include medical care (primary care, HIV, STIs, various specialties), mental health services, diagnostic services, social work, community outreach, and education services. Through its comprehensive approach, the clinic aims to improve the health and quality of life of vulnerable populations in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic.
The global health experience offers rotations, practicums, and internships for students and volunteers in medical, public health, nursing, psychology, social work, and other health science fields. The program aims to enhance cultural competence, knowledge of HIV care and treatment, and improve care for vulnerable populations in the Dominican Republic.
- Length of rotation: Four weeks (minimum)
- Location: La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Language requirement: Spanish fluency required
- Student level: Phase 1, 2 and 3 are eligible; MPH students may apply to visit for a field experience
- How to apply: Complete the online application
- Elective credit: Family and community medicine, infectious diseases
Goals of Elective Credit
- Increased cultural competency and understanding of the practice of medicine and public health in resource poor settings.
- Increased knowledge of HIV care and treatment, sexually transmitted infection diagnosis and treatment, HIV vertical transmission, family planning and adolescent reproductive health.
- Improved care for vulnerable populations in the Eastern Dominican Republic, accomplished through a project of public health, clinical or research importance at Clínica de Familia La Romana.
- Increased understanding of Dominican and Latino immigration in the United States and improved healthcare provision through exposure to Dominican and Haitian culture and Spanish immersion.
The participants in the program receive pre-departure and on-site orientations, which include information about the area, language, culture, and security. They have the chance to observe and learn from healthcare providers in various fields, such as HIV care, pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics-gynecology. Medical and nursing students may assist clinical staff with tasks like taking vital signs and conducting medical histories and physical examinations, depending on their prior experience and the provider's approval. Additionally, the program offers opportunities to visit clients' homes with community health promoters, attend comprehensive sex education sessions in local high schools, accompany a community family planning nurse, and observe client sessions with clinical psychologists and HIV testing counselors.
All participants engage in projects of public health, clinical, or research importance at Clínica de Familia La Romana. For students conducting research, they may either collaborate on ongoing studies or design their own study protocol in coordination with the clinic team. Approval from relevant IRBs is required before starting research at Clínica de Familia.
Participants attend continuing medical education sessions and interactive student continuing education sessions. Students can also participate in multidisciplinary team meetings of clinic staff to better understand how the clinic functions and participate in its quality improvement activities.
Clínica de Familia facilitates participants’ involvement in a variety of cultural activities within the clinic and in the community at large. Staff from Clínica de Familia host welcome events for all participants and also organize other cultural activities and events throughout the participants’ time in the Dominican Republic. La Romana offers opportunities for integration and immersion into Dominican life, giving participants the opportunity to learn firsthand about diverse elements of Dominican culture.
Participants have varying daily schedules, including clinical rotations and project work. They are expected to work during regular clinic hours. The Student and Volunteer Coordinator assists with scheduling and provides supervision and support.
- Clínica de Familia
- Available Research Projects
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. State Department
- World Health Organization Country Profile
Students typically spend one to three months in La Romana, arranging their own accommodation, with support from the Student and Volunteer Coordinator. Depending on the location of their accommodations, students can reach the clinic by public transportation or on foot.
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