GMI Student Perspectives | Eddie Yao: Mi Cumpleaños En Costa Rica Y Más

Reflections from Global Medical Innovation MBE students.

My Supervisor, Alejandra, and the interns, Carlos, Carolina, Mauro, and Me (left to right).

The second half of our internships flew by and soon classes will begin at Rice. As I made progress on my technical feasibility project at Boston Scientific, I was able to explore more parts of the company and took a deeper dive into the manufacturing process. I became to main point of contact for the project with the Maple Grove Site and coordinated some testing and specification validation processes. As a result, I got the chance to work more with the production floor teams and the engineering lab to test units and collect data. In addition, as part of the project, some components were needed to be shipped to the US for testing. I helped coordinate the shipments and set up test methods for those respective units. In the end, I completed a progress report on the technical feasibility and outlined future steps to ensure a complete technical report.

The last day of the internship happened to also be my birthday! My supervisor got me a cake and we had a little celebration at lunch. In addition to my birthday, another intern, Carlos graduated from the Technical University of Costa Rica.

Besides the most important celebration of my birthday, Costa Ricans celebrated two other holidays during our last couple weeks. On July 25th, it was Guanacaste Day, a celebration of the Annexation of the Guanacaste region. On August 2nd, Costa Rican celebrated Virgen de los Angeles Day to celebrate the Virgin of the Angels, Costa Rican’s patron saint. Every year, pilgrims from every part of the country walk 22 km from San José to Cartago to pay tribute at the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.

Every Friday, I continued clinical observations at Hospital de Niños in San José. We observed several operations with Dr. Luis Diego Aguilar. We ran into some difficulties due to a week-long nurse strike but we were still able to get some insight into the healthcare system in Costa Rica. At the end, we sat down with Dr. Cortes, the Director of Surgery at the hospital to discuss our observations and possible opportunities for a Global Health Project based on his feedback.

What a busy summer full of exploration! I learned a lot about Costa Rica, explored more of its natural beauty, lived the Pura Vida lifestyle, drank some of the best coffee and brushed up on my Spanish. Over the course of ten weeks, I made lots of new friends, gained insight into the medical device industry and had a fulfilling international experience. Even though I will miss Costa Rica, I’m excited to move to my new home, Houston, and start my adventures at Rice University!

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Eddie Yao, 2019-20 Cohort, MBE in Global Medical Innovation