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Belize 2019 -Caitlin Tidwell & Amanda Stratton







Caitlin Tidwell, MD

Dr. Tidwell is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and member of Prisma Midlands EM class of 2020. She traveled to Belize with her classmate Amanda Stratton, MD and Prisma Midlands EM Faculty Joe Myslinski, MD.


Amanda and I met up at the airport in Columbia and set off for our journey to Belize together. We flew into Belize City and met up with Dr. Myslinski in the airport. Once through customs, Dr.

Myslinski got a rental car, and we set off for the 2 hour excursion down some very bumpy and rural dirt roads to his house at Orchid Bay.  His house in Orchid Bay is REALLY nice, but also there's no furniture except beds (we did help him pick out a washing machine and dryer while there!)

The next day, we headed to Corozal to check out the hospital there and take some supplies we'd brought from the US. To get to Corazol, we had to take 2 "hand cranked" ferries that someone is paid to crank, but they let us give it a try. Dr. Myslinski goes by "Dr. Joe" in Belize and literally everyone knows him. We met the medical director of the hospital and several hospitalist as well as GPs. We explored the ER and the medical wards. We didn't see any patient's that day, but did meet a lot of people and learn a lot about medical care there. 

The next couple of days, we went to Sarteneja, which is a quaint little fishing town where Dr. Joe has a clinic set up. He has a few nurses there that run the clinic by refilling prescriptions and

providing maternity care while he's away. This was a really cool experience. Everyone was really kind and thankful to have us there providing care. We took a butterfly and were able to do ultrasounds. There was a small supply of medications that we were able to prescribe. Dr. Joe keeps a log of the patient's he's seen, diagnosis, and prescriptions, and we were able to see the progress patient's were making which was really neat.  Everyday while there, we went to some tiny restaurant for lunch and ate lobster, which just capped these days off as great.

The last day of clinical care, we went back to the hospital at Corozal. Amanda and I rounded with the hospitalist. We took the butterfly with us, so we were able to provide some real time imaging while rounding. We had a really memorable case where we probably actually saved a life. There was a 30ish year old female that had come with abdominal pain. She looked so uncomfortable. She'd been in the hospital for a couple of days at that point. She was tachycardic and hypotensive, so we did a FAST on her and

she had a TON of fluid in Morrison's pouch! We told the hospitalist, and we were able to get her transferred to a hospital where she could have the surgery she needed. After further talking to the patient, we discovered she likely had appendicitis that had ruptured. It was really cool to see what we were able to do while there!

The next day, we headed back to Belize City where we split up from Dr. Myslinski. He flew back to the US and Amanda and I took a ferry to San Pedro where we snorkeled, scuba dived (Amanda), met some awesome locals, and ate some deliciously fresh conch and lobster! 

Overall, this was an amazing experience! We had a ton of fun, and I hope this can be continued for future residents!