One month is enough to fall in love with New York and want to stay there forever.

A different country, language, culture, food, transportation, and people–a city with its own rhythm and it was the first time I lived alone.

The first few days I was overwhelmed and trapped by a “bittersweet” feeling: I was scared to death, feeling like my heart was jumping out of my chest all the time. I couldn’t help but think about whether I would be capable enough to communicate, understand and make myself understood appropriately with my patients or my mentor. But at the same time, I felt very happy, excited and learning a lot of new things. I was ready to take on the world!

Although I had been to New York before, this time it felt different. It was not a vacation; I was in this city with a purpose: to improve my medical skills, to learn how the US health system works, to have an idea of what it means to be a doctor in this country and definitely to improve my English.

The days passed, the fear and nerves diminished and little by little I felt that I belong, that I want and can do more. Because this is New York, it steals your heart, chooses you, traps you and transforms you.

A Rotation to be Grateful For

During the rotation, Dr. N. proved to be a great professional and showed how passionate he is about his work and how much he likes to teach his students everything he knows. This included several key points such as: the importance of good communication between doctor and patient, the need to take a good medical history (he used to tell us: “be like detectives”), and the essentials of performing a good physical examination on our patients. He also gave us a lot of information about preventive examinations, various methods diagnoses, treatments (he would encourage us to research on and present on specific diagnoses), and at the same time, he guided us on how medicine works in the U.S.

The staff was the best, they were very friendly and always encouraged each of us to do our best and shine. How lucky we were to have met them; I will always carry them in my heart.

The medical rotation and New York would not have been the same without my colleagues who came from different countries: Nepal and Italy. Not only did we share moments in the doctor’s office, we also created many memories getting to know many wonderful places in the city as tourists. We had lots of fun.

Words will never be enough to express how much I learned on this rotation and how wonderful this experience was.

I am proud to be Ecuadorian and to be able to represent my country on a “mind-blowing” opportunity. I hope to return soon, make my dream come true (being able to do my medical residency in this country) and bring a little piece of Ecuador to the U.S.

Gratitude, that’s what I call this month. Eternally grateful to God and my parents, for letting me dream and allowing me to live all this. I love you; thank you so much.

Thank you to my host family for adopting me, welcoming me with open arms and letting me be part of your family.

See you soon NY. Always in my heart.