Completed Research

Unsupported Medical Interns in Rural Medical Units, Nuevo León

Tecnológico de Monterrey

The limited provision of material resources provided to medical units in rural areas can severely impact the service that health professionals stationed in these clinical care offices provide. The recent austerity policies implemented by the government have exacerbated this issue, causing shortages of doctors and nurses, insufficiency in medication availability, reductions of intern support, and even insufficiencies in regard to essential services like electricity and internet connection. One of the main recurring issues is that social service medical interns (SSMI) are sent remotely to work with few supplies, limited training in primary health care, and little to no mentorship or supervision during their service. The case study presented examines the realities and expectations of the SSMI to understand the effect of material resource shortage on clinical care delivery.

Hard to Reach

Social Service Medical Interns (SSMIs) sent to remote areas in the state of Nuevo León 

Key Takeaways

The program for social service medical interns (SSMIs) in Mexico needs to be restructured due to the following:

  1. Official public information — about SSMIs’ living conditions, the number of patients they see each day, the diseases these patients have, and the resources available in each clinic — is far from the truth. 
  2. Most interviewees lacked the proper medicine and tools to provide the correct treatment for patients. 
  3. Due to the hardships of social service, many SSMI’s decide to leave the medical profession entirely.
  4. Each new government alters the healthcare and social service systems however in Mexico, there are no institutions that can hold other authorities accountable for what happens under their watch. 


We are grateful to the doctors and medical interns with experience in the southern parts of Nuevo León — their support was crucial to our research. We are especially thankful to those we met and interviewed for sharing their knowledge and experiences with us. Our sincere gratitude to our mentors Iza María Sánchez Siller, Ingrid Valeria Galicia González, and Rojin Rahmati for all their guidance and mentorship.