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Merit Scholar Profiles: Anibal Tornes Blanco

 
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PROGRAM: 

Valdepeñas, Spain - Winter 2017

UNDERGRADUATE:

University of Puerto Rico class of 2018

MAJOR:

Interdisciplinary Studies

HONORS:

Dean's List

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:

American Chemistry Society, EcoExploratorio & Oceanica

Why did you choose the atlantis fellowship?

I chose the Atlantis Fellowship because I thought it would virtually be the only opportunity that offered me the chance to be able to talk with people about how healthcare works in their country. I thought that the on-site experience provided by the Atlantis Project would be the cornerstone of dialogue of this topic that I care about. 

HOW IS THE ATLANTIS PROJECT UNIQUE?

The Atlantis Project offers the chance to truly immerse yourself in the cultural and ethical experience that surrounds healthcare issues. Even though it is common to get shadowing experience, the Atlantis Project stands out because of its capacity to provide local hospital staff that are willing to share their stories with you. I experienced a sense of belonging and did not want to go back to my hometown!

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE EXPERIENCE AS AN ATLANTIS FELLOW?

Because I speak Spanish, I had the chance to have very in-depth conversations with all the hospital staff and was able to work as a bridge for the other students between Spanish and English. Helping to break down that language barrier was definitely one of my favorite parts of my experience. 

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF YOUR TIME SHADOWING?

I saw a poster once that said "One. That is the amount of people needed to change the world." This is definitely something I experienced through my shadowing.  There was a warmness and a kindness behind how medicine is practiced in Spain that I had not experienced before. It really meant a lot to me, and reignited my faith in good medicine.

HOW HAS THE ATLANTIS PROJECT HELPED EQUIP YOU FOR THE FUTURE?

This experience really made me think about where I am in life and where I am headed. I learned so much from all the people I came into contact with, especially when it comes to cultural differences, that I will definitely consider in my own professional career.