Meet the Interns: Liz

Elizabeth Haro is a MEDLIFE summer intern working out of both Riobamba and Tena, Ecuador. Learn more about Liz below!

liz ecuador portraitTell us an anecdote from your experience with MEDLIFE thus far:

MEDLIFE’s global health participation in Riobamba, Ecuador is unmatched. Today, for example, I went with Maria — part of MEDLIFE Ecuador’s patient follow-up team — to Chambo in the Chimborazo province for follow-up care with three patients. Only one of the three patients was able to make the appointment. Therefore, Maria and I, with the help of local women, walked across cornfields, down muddy hillsides, and past cows to the homes of the two women that needed to be seen for follow-up care. The lengths MEDLIFE goes to to ensure the necessary medical care for the community of Chimborazo is incredible. Many of MEDLIFE’s patients have the odds working against them, yet continue to live their lives with perseverance and joy. MEDLIFE’s commitment to follow-up care has heightened my enthusiasm for community medicine and encouraged me to develop lasting relationships with the people of Ecuador.

Where are you from?

I am from San Diego, California. I studied archaeology and biology at Stanford University.

How did you get involved with MEDLIFE?

I became involved with MEDLIFE through the Riobamba summer internship where we have been hosting week-long Mobile Clinics in Tena and the surrounding communities of Riobamba, Ecuador.

Why did you decide to become an intern?

I decided to become an intern with MEDLIFE because of the organization’s unique combination of medicine, education, and community development. I was also inspired by MEDLIFE’s goal to bring sustainable healthcare that will bridge health disparities across rural communities in Ecuador. Additionally, the MEDLIFE internship offers a platform to explore my personal interest in women’s health, especially by looking at disparities in Ecuador’s cervical cancer mortality rates.

What was your first impression of Ecuador?

Ecuador is incredibly beautiful — from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon. It is surreal to wake up each morning with the Chimborazo volcano as our backdrop, to take bus rides through the clouds, and to see the most magnificent waterfalls.

What do you look forward to most this summer?

What I am looking forward to most this summer is taking part in MEDLIFE’s patient follow-up care. After Mobile Clinic weeks, as interns, we accompany the MEDLIFE staff members who make sure our patients receive the post-clinic care that they need. This includes everything from transportation to clinics and hospitals, to laboratory testing, to obtaining necessary medications or surgeries.


Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.