Sydney Greenberg, MD
Sydney Greenberg, MD
Gastroenterology · Chapel Hill, NC

Guatemala Endoscopy Program at Hospitalito Atitlan

November 4th
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

Project Description

Through the Guatemala Endoscopy Program, I will serve as one of several physicians on a multidisciplinary team to provide gastroenterology & hepatology services at Hospitalito Atitlan in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala for 5 days. This includes both clinic consultations and performing endoscopic procedures that are not otherwise available at the hospital. I will be the only fellow from my program participating in this mission.

Population Served

We will serve the local Mayan population in a remote area with limited healthcare access both geographically and financially. Without such service projects, individuals in this area must travel to the capital city of Guatemala to receive similar services, which they often have a variety of barriers to accessing. On a personal note, I previously studied in Guatemala as a medical student to learn medical Spanish and am grateful to have an opportunity to return to the country as a GI fellow so that I can now provide medical services to a place that has already given me so much.

Expected Impact

This is part of a longitudinal relationship with the hospital. We plan to complete approximately 25 office visits and 50 endoscopic procedures during the week. I hope that these encounters can meaningfully impact the lives of the patients we will serve. Moreover, as a Spanish-speaking provider working in North Carolina, I have many patients from Central America. So, in addition to providing direct care to the medically-underserved individuals we will treat in Guatemala, this trip will allow me to improve my cultural competency and expand my language & communication skills to provide better care to my patients when I return.

Trip Photos & Recap

Our trip provided GI specialty care and endoscopy to patients of Mayan ancestry who only have access to such through mission trips like ours and in a setting where we had access to hospital staff that speak their local language (which isn’t available in the major city they would have to go for GI care otherwise). We were able to provide meaningful diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and it was wonderful to get to work alongside the hospital’s long term staff. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and hope to do it again!