Despite chaotic months of lockdowns and restrictions, Maria has kept her spirits up selflessly attending patients amid the coronavirus outbreak. According to her, being a doctor is a vocation, not just a job, and showing genuine empathy is a crucial aspect of the healing arts. Her mother, a chief nurse in the emergency department, sparked her interest in medicine from an early age: “Ever since I was a child, I observed my mom’s compassion for patients and their families, her kindness. She was my inspiration.” Years later, she’s carrying over these qualities to perform her duties to the best of her ability.
Establishing a bond of trust is important, especially during a pandemic: “Each patient and disease have their own complexity and require an individual approach. I think first of the pain and anguish of the other. I put myself in his shoes to be able to help him better. In the end, it is not only about medical knowledge but also listening and communicating.”
When Maria's path was all mapped out, thanks to the unconditional support of her entire family - especially her two kids - she got herself involved in sports.“I was a professional speed skater and competed at international level. Combining this passion with my studies helped me get more organized and turn my goals into reality.” This unconditional fan of racing cyclist Nairo Quintana displayed courage to take the Hippocratic Oath. Care, self-sacrifice, and dedication are Maria’s daily mission now.
The current Covid-19 situation has only strengthened Dr. Maria’s conviction and desire to improve healthcare in Colombia. The pandemic has exposed the lack of vital health infrastructure. Teleconsultation has helped address this issue, breaking down barriers in healthcare: “With Emermédica, we also deliver homecare services to prevent overcrowding in emergency departments. This, in turn, reduces the number of hospitalizations and ensures the services are not overwhelmed.”
According to Maria, “the main advantage of telemedicine is that the patient is at home, together with his family. He does not have to wait or queue; he’s less stressed. This digital solution serves us well, especially when it comes to supporting the elderly or people with disabilities.” Indeed, teleconsultations leave more time for symptom assessment, can help reduce unnecessary hospital trips, and shorten the time from one consultation to another. On the bright side, this way of working has also strengthened teamwork: “Coordinators distribute tasks and monitor developments more efficiently. This helps us improve the quality of care day after day”.
Resilient in the face of crisis, Maria feels optimistic about the future:“The pandemic has turned everything upside down, but you have to view things in a positive light, especially in relation to health education. Another pandemic may happen but now we are all better prepared to face it. This situation made us realize that we should take nothing for granted. Creating space for compassion, empathy and learning is key for future generations”.
Emermédica is a leading Colombian healthcare provider with more than 30 years of experience, supported by AXA COLPATRIA. Present in 8 cities in Colombia, the Atlantic Coast, and the Coffee Triangle, Emermédica also provides international coverage in 13 countries, delivering quality care and services for every need.