Cachamsi was at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. It was held in Kansas City, Missouri during July 28 through July 31,2011. This is Cachamsi’s third year attending the conference. Dr. Duchicela was the exhibitor and was very satisfied meeting and engaging with family medicine residents and medical students. Dr. Duchicela has been working in rural family medicine for almost 22 years and almost as long serving as a faculty preceptor and associate professor for the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
He and his wife Juanita chose to live in Weimar,Texas, where he was offered a position at the Youens Clinic. After becoming a partner about twenty years ago the name changed to Youens and Duchicela Clinic. His experience as one of the town’s doctor has been enriching, treating a diverse set of population including patients from German/Czech, Black and Hispanic descent. After many years of practicing as a rural family physician and teaching hundreds of medical students, residents, nursing and physician assistant students, he realized the urgent need for medical students, residents, and other healthcare professionals to communicate well with the Hispanic patient.
These experiences helped him decide to offer an immersion language program. He noticed that medical students and residents tried very hard to learn Spanish within the medical context, but they very seldom succeeded in acquiring the language skills to adequately communicate with their Hispanic patients. They were too busy and there was no available structured program that could offer an effective methodology. He saw the need to create an institute specialized in teaching medical Spanish. This facility would be built and developed in Ecuador. This small South American country is safe, diverse and friendly. It is also Dr. Duchicela’s birth place, a region where one can find areas where English is not spoken at all. The Central Ecuadorean highlands provided great language professors, a multitude of health centers, and a special indigenous community close to Dr. Duchicela’s heart. He felt this institute would not only help the Hispanic patient in the U.S. but would also help the indigenous people of central Ecuador.
In 2000, Dr. Jorge (as he is known in Weimar to differentiate him from his younger sister, partner, family physician Dr. Olga), began the tedious and slow work of meeting and establishing relationships with physicians, hospitals, government leaders, families, and potential members of the new institute in Riobamba, Ecuador. Why Riobamba?A quaint, small, colonial city surrounded by majestic volcanoes and drenched in history and its indigenous culture, Riobamba (from the Kichwa word ricbamba which means the walking plane) became the place where the Cacha Medical Spanish Institute was going to be built. The name Cachamsi came later as medical students would call the institute and program by its acronysm, Cacha MSI (Medical Spanish Institute). By 2004, he had all the major components ready to offer an integrated, focused, immersion experience to participants of the institute. He saw this school as a way to bring United States health professionals, community members, and Ecuadorean health professionals together to accomplish the missions of Cachamsi: To improve the health of the Latino patient in the United States and enhance the health and education of the indigenous people of central Andean Ecuador.