Cuba Health Care Research Trip 2010

Vinales Panorama

A group of North American medical professional's experience studying the Cuban medical system.

 Photo Gallery: Places Visited

ELAM - the Latin American Medical School where thousands of students from around the world are trained to become doctors for the poor people of their countries - at no charge! Details about ELAM can be found on the MEDICC website.

This billboard proudly proclaims that ELAM is "A school in solidarity with brotherhood and justice" - not part of the curriculum of most medical schools!

Billboard in front of ELAM - "Brotherhood and Justice"

We visited the Havana Regional Psychiatric Hospital, where the staff seems progressive in its treatment of various mental health problems.

Havana Psychiatric Hospital

A practitioner using kinesiology and "flower therapy" to treat a patient with depression.

Kinesiology being used in Havana Psychiatric Hospital

Men's Clinic at the Leprosarium outside of Havana. Although leprosy is a disease mostly of the past in Cuba as in much of the world, there are still a number of older patients with disfiguring disease who are happier living here than trying to be accepted into society (they are here of their own free will).

Men's clinic at the Cuban Leprosarium

This is the church at the leprosarium. The Sisters of Charity have always operated this facility, and work in coordination with the Cuban Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

Each region has an HIV hospital. This is a residential center where patients stay until their disease is controlled. They offer education and social services as well as clinical care.

HIV Center

This woman is a nurse at the HIV residential facility. She was a surgical nurse and one of Cuba's first HIV patients. After being treated here in the early days when those with AIDS were ostracized, she and her husband elected to move here where she has been employed since.

HIV patient/nurse


For a country with very limited resources, Cuba does not lack commitment, dedication, and spirit - that, I think, is the lesson we took away from each of our visits and from the trip as a whole. Dedication, commitment, and spirit which our nation could use.