"I saw three families during our family visits," Tuoti said. "The village we visited was filled with homes that were made of bits and pieces of metal and wood. To have a home made out of solid materials — as we have here in the United States — is considered luxurious and wasn’t a sight seen in this village. The first family we visited was a 27-year-old mother of five children. The only medical attention the young mother had ever received was in preparation to give birth. Often, that was the dilemma with some of these families in Costa Rica; the women had so minimal assistance that they forget to take care of themselves."

Dr. Furst and the physician team giving presentations on workshop days

Tuoti describes her experience as an opportunity for growth and learning where she was able to receive advice and encouragement about her medical career path. 

"Today I met a young girl and her grandmother," she said. "The girl walked into our clinic with a summer dress. I couldn’t help but to notice how thin the girl appeared to be. Her cheeks were caved inwards, and her dress hung loosely on her body. She told us she was 12 years old. I remember thinking to myself that there could be no way. Upon questioning, we learned that she was unable to eat more than a few spoonfuls of food each meal for her entire life. The truth of the matter is no provider has ever taken the time to thoroughly explain the importance of proper nutrition to these families. I realized that by just spending the time to sit down and talk to these patients, it made a positive impact in the future of their health," Tuoti said. 

Julie Vo

Clinical Experience Placement Specialist, Office of Clinical Partnerships