My journey towards medical residency in the United States began as a dream that emerged late in my heart, in a land previously unknown to me. In the final year of medical school, I searched intensely for a hands-on clerkship to use as an elective, but time was running out, leaving me increasingly lost amidst bureaucracy and the difficulty in finding what I wanted. That’s when I turned to AMOpportunities, a company with an excellent reputation and a highly dedicated and competent team that made the entire process simple and agile, providing the necessary support at every step.

After the bureaucratic procedures and numerous doubts were addressed, I was welcomed by the team, especially by Grace, who patiently responded to all my requests skillfully, and I finally had my application approved. I then began my search for a place to stay during the clerkship, and thanks to AMOpportunities’ suggestions, I opted for an Airbnb just two minutes from the hospital, an apartment with space for at least 4 people, with everything I needed, also providing me with easy access to markets, pharmacies, restaurants, and all the necessary amenities for my 4-week program.

On the first day, I felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement about what was to come, especially concerned about my adaptation to a new language, medical system, team, and patients. I wanted to stand out and learn as much as possible, seeking straightforward guidance and my much-desired letter of recommendation. From the first contact, I was received with kindness, solicitude, education, and necessary attention, receiving detailed instructions on what my routine would be during that month of program.

Our routine consisted of receiving patients, conducting physical exams to check vital signs and electrocardiograms, as well as other non-invasive exams when necessary, and sharing the results with our preceptor, Dr. VG. Then, we accompanied the consultations, asking questions and constantly learning. The doctor engaged us in stimulating discussions, sparking in me the desire to deepen my studies to enrich theoretical discussions and better understand the topics he addressed. During our free time, he taught us interesting medical mnemonics, and in the evenings, we gathered to discuss ECGs, using a book with 80 ECGs specially provided for study, which further enriched our training and understanding of the topic. Once a week, we received lectures from pharmaceutical representatives about new medications on the market and they made space for explanations to answer our doubts and even discuss mechanisms of action, among other things, always with a good snack at the end.

On weekends and during the evenings, I reserved time to review the topics discussed and the ECGs, of course, but I also took the opportunity to explore the stunning city of Chicago, which was close to Evanston. Even with the hospital routine, I was able to enjoy everything the city had to offer, from seeing snow for the first time to visiting world-renowned restaurants, the famous Chicago pizza and hotdog and tourist spots that left me amazed, ice skating, feeling like a child in a toy store every time I went to Walmart, and being impressed by so many different foods. These experiences also allowed me to create bonds of friendship with other students from different nationalities where we had fun outside the hospital environment but while talking about Cardiology and medical topics lol which I hope to carry with me for life.

My expectations for the internship were high, driven by reports from other students on the AMOpportunities website, and I can say that they were completely exceeded. Each week, I felt more prepared, confident, and engaged. Dr. VG, a good man with a huge heart, a professional acclaimed for his brilliance and humanity, who has numerous awards in his field and as a physician in general, has always stood out among other doctors since he was young. Being an immigrant doctor shows how much he has strived to get where he is, and watching a fantastic professional, reference in cardiology, literally the best I have ever met in my life, proved to be an inspiring example, and his commitment to caring for patients was a source of inspiration for me. Watching his work, hearing patients express gratitude for his dedication, and witnessing so many success cases were experiences that renewed my passion for medicine and Cardiology and created a dream within me, to positively impact the lives of my patients as Dr. VG does with his patients. In 1 month, I was able to see more rare cases than I had seen in almost 6 years of medical school and that I had only heard about in books, I was able to learn the dreaded ECG that I never managed to learn even with a lot of effort during college and not to be afraid of being questioned about what I see there. Today, I can say that I am another student, a product of a doctor who is passionate about what he does and who loves to teach students, and we can feel this love in his didactics, insistence, and concern for us. One day, I will be a resident in the United States and I will take his name with me, on my resume, in my heart, and in my performance as a doctor, I will be eternally grateful for so much teaching and inspiration.

In addition to Dr. VG, the team at St. Francis (a hospital that also has great structure and general care), composed of amazing professionals, played a fundamental role in my experience and were examples of dedication and professionalism. The nurse practitioner, always energetic, taught me more than she imagines, a full-time super mom and an admirable professional who becomes 10 if necessary to make things work, she is the embodiment of “Wonder Woman” and gives herself to offer the best to their patients for many years, better than many cardiologists we see out there, she has reasons to be recognized and I was able to witness that. And the assistant and receptionist, always warm and receptive, who sits at the reception in front of his computer solving 1001 things at the same time while using his sympathy to always receive all of us and the patients with a warm smile and constant sympathy, the first to arrive and the last to leave, dedicated and attentive.

The patients also deserve attention, demonstrating their gratitude in various ways, including with chocolate gifts, which touched me deeply as a legitimate chocoholic. They were always understanding with us students, answered our questions solicitously, shared their stories, were cooperative, facilitating interaction during the consultation, the ones over 90 years old who still drive their cars and are independent were my favorites.

The most difficult moment of this experience was the day I needed to leave. However, I was surprised with a letter of recommendation that exceeded all my expectations, evidencing the positive impact of the internship on my education. I received valuable advice from Dr. VG, which I will carry with me for life, and today, I wish to achieve success so that I can share my learning as a professional and give back, financing other students in search of experiences as enriching as mine so that they have great opportunities in life too.

I am deeply grateful to AMOpportunities for the support since the first contact, and I recommend the company without hesitation. I also thank the cardiology team at St. Francis, which showed excellence in all aspects, showing me that medicine in the United States was the right choice for my life. Every penny invested was worth it, and I hope that my gratitude shines through these words, inspiring other students and potential interns to believe that we are capable of more than we imagine, and having qualified professionals to assist us makes all the difference in these processes.