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Escudo armas.gif Escudo samhuaz.jpg
Location Zacatecas location.png
Time zone GMT -6
Number of Doctors per 1000 people 2.3 (1.8 in Mexico)
Birth rate per 1000 people 18.4
Mortality rate per 1000 people 5.4
Member of IFMSA-MEXICO since... 2001
Number of incoming students per year 17
Who is our LEO Sinuhé Reyes Ruvalcaba,, Facebook:
Our official website / Forum / Facebook group
Come for exchange!

Welcome Note

Welcome to Zacatecas, land with quarry face and silver heart, the city of Zacatecas have been distinguished as World Heritage by UNESCO, by virtue of its rich cultural heritage that makes delight of tourists. Come for an exchange and enjoy a complete clinical practice.



Aqueduct of Zacatecas
Golden Eagle, the most important national symbol

The state of Zacatecas, is located in northern Mexico, specifically in the Central Plateau of Mexico, which covers the states of Zacatecas, Durango, Coahuila and the part between the Sierra Madre Oriental and The Sierra Madre Occidental. The highest elevation is the Sierra El Astillero at an altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level, followed by the Sierra of Sombrerete with 3100 meters. The vegetation is varied in Zacatecas. In the mountains there are mixed forests of pine and oak trees, there the trees stay green all year round. There are also semi-arid regions that host large numbers of plants such as cacti. Zacatecas is the entity in the country in which there are more copies of golden eagle, the national symbol of Mexico. The main industry is mining, extracting mainly silver, gold, mercury, iron, onyx and quarry. Some of the mines (very famous in Mexico) dating from 1546.

Zacatecas city had its start as a Spanish mining camp in the mid-16th century. Prior to this, the area's rich deposits in silver and other minerals were known. Due to the wealth that the mines provided, Zacatecas quickly became one of the most important cities in New Spain, with much of it silver enriching the Spanish crown. The area saw battles during the turbulent 19th century, but the next major event was the Battle of Zacatecas during the Mexican Revolution when Francisco Villa took the town. This event is still celebrated annually. Today, the city center is a World Heritage Site, due to the Baroque and other structures built during its mining heyday. Still this industry remains an important industry.

Our health care system

The current healthcare system in Mexico is a pluralistic health care system which is a combination of public and private programs. The public institutions in Zacatecas and Mexico are "The national public healthcare system" wich includes institution for private-sector employees, which includes 2 institutions of social security sevices, denonited IMSS (Mexican Social Security Institute) and ISSSTE (Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers); and a third one, "Health Sector", for people in general. The last 3 institutions work entirely on the free-market system. The private practice in Mexico and Zacatecas is very popular, but still, virtually the entire population is insured by the public system, so only they use the private practice when want speed up some shares or with some procedures not covered by the public sector.

Last years, in Mexico, has become very popular a public program. The name of this program is "Seguro Popular", (that means Popular Insurance'), which aims to provide health services to people who are not affiliated to social security services as those of IMSS or ISSSTE. According to official figures, in October 2010, the program has more than 53 million Mexicans joined.

Some Health statistics in Zacatecas
Percent of gross domestic product for health system 6.4 %
Number of Doctors per 1000 people 2.3
Number of Nurses per 1000 people 2.4
Mortality rate per 1000 people 5.4
Mortality rate for children younger than one year per 1000 live births 14.7
Mortality rate for children younger than five years per 1000 live births 17
Life expectancy 76.3 years. 78.5 (women), 74.1 (men)

The hospitals

Hospitales de Zacatecas.png

We have 4 different hospitals for exchanges.

1. General Hospital of Zacatecas. This hospital is for citizens under the government program "Seguro Popular", so full attention here is given for free. It is also the best hospital, enabled with the best technology and the best sevices offered in our city. If you want to do an internship in the branches of Internal Medicine, Surgery or Paediatrics, this is the hospital for you.

2. Hospital for the Zacatecan Woman. This is a hospital that provides free services just for Zacatecan women, so this is an excellent place to do an internship in Obstetrics, Gyneacology or Neonatology.

3. IMSS. It is located in the most beautiful colonial zone of the city. It's great if you want to do an internship in Emergency Medicine or any kind of Surgery.

4. ISSSTE. Best Place for Family Medicine (FM) or Family Practice (FP).

Leading causes of death in Zacatecas, 2010
1 Diabetes mellitus
2 Ischemic heart diseases
3 Acute lower respiratory infections
4 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
5 Cerebrovascular disease
6 Traffic accidents
7 Malignant breast tumor
8 Hypertensive heart disease
9 Asphyxia and birth trauma
10 Homicides and suicides

Our Medical Education

Incoming from Czech Republic practicing in our General Hospital

Our university is called "Autonomous University of Zacatecas." To be a general practitioner in Zacatecas, is required to study for five years at the University, one year of full-time practice in the hospital and one year of full-time in a community. Medical education in our university is divided into 4 parts:

- Preclinical Education. (1st to 4th semester of the Bachelor of Medicine)

- Clinical Education. (5th to 10th semester of the Bachelor of Medicine)

- 1 year as an Intern.

- 1 year of Social Service

Preclinical Education: Preclinical education imparted to students during the first 2 years of the faculty includes basic knowledge in areas such as Cellular and Molecular Biology, Anatomy, Histology, Embryology, Physiology and Pathophysiology, Microbiology, Pathology and Pharmacology. During this period, students don't go to the hospital full time, although, they have to go to practice laboratories, areas of anatomical dissection, and yes, to the hospital, but just to learn about Phisical Examination.

Clinical Education: Our Clinical education begins in the 5th semester and includes all therapeutic, pharmacological, pathological and diagnostic knowdledges of all the branches in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Gynecology and Pediatrics. From this point, students have to go two days a week at the hospital. Clinical practice is performed only in hospitals and clinics into Social Health Services of Zacatecas, IMSS or ISSSTE. Clinical practice is considered as a subject in our educations, so it have a socore.

Internship: The objective of the internship is integrate all the knowledge generated during the faculty, it is also an opportunity for all students to decide which specialty they would like to take. During this time, students "are living in the hospital", working more than 94 hours a week.

Social Service: At the end of our studies, Mexican law requires that students apply their knowledge and give their services for free for one year, usually the Social Service is performed in a poor community,

Services availables for an Exchange: Anesthesiology - Angiology - Cardiology - Community Medicine - Dermatology - Emergency Medicine - Endocrinology - Family Medicine - Gastroenterology - General Surgery - Geriatrics - Haematology - Infectology - Internal Medicine - Maxillofacial Surgery - Neurology - Neonatology - Neurosurgery - Nephrology - Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Ophthalmology - Oncology - Oncosurgery - Orthopedics - Otolaryngology - Pathology - Paediatrics - Proctology - Psychiatry - Pulmonology - Radiology - Rheumatology - Intensive Care - Urology

Cultural differences

Mining: Historically, the most important profession in the city
Asado de boda
International Festival of Folklore
Dancers from Zacatecas
Festival of Street Theater
Morismas of Bracho
Jazz & Blues Festival
A classical mexican charro, in the National Charro Congress

- The regional music is called "tamborazo". The "tamborazo" is done, beating a big drum beside a northern regional band. The tradition of tamborazo borned with the miners. This music start when miners, after working a long day, went to drink mezcal and tequila, trying to reproduce the sounds made by their tools in the mine.

- The regional drink is not tequila, is mezcal.

- The most important party-day for young people, is thursday.

- The most important dish here is "asado de boda" and is the most important dish at weddings in the region. The taste itself is reason to celebrate. If you would like to know how is the flavor, think in pork meat, chocolate and chile.

- The aspect that best represents the culture are the regional celebrations.

- Most of the people are catholic. Only 1.8% of people belong to another religion. Either way, the people are very tolerant to other faiths and religions.

- It takes place every year during Holy Week a cultural week, where all expressions of art is manifested in theaters, and natural settings such as plazas, squares, streets and alleys, this week received cultural artists from around the world and is considered one of most important cultural festivals in the continent. Another festival takes place in July, where people are visiting folk dance groups from different states of the republic and a lot of dancing are in squares, plazas and gala presentations made at the Teatro Calderon.

- All year Zacatecas performed with various cultural events, and has a large infrastructure of hotels, one of the best options for national tourism. 2 Only 1.8% of people belong to another religion.

Permanent festivals we have during the year:

- Balloon Festival (March)

- Cultural Festival of Zacatecas (Easter week)

- Feria of the Silver (June)

- International Festival of Folkore (July to August)

- Sexual Diversity Festival (August)

- The Morismas of Bracho (a representation about a fight between Christians and Moors)

- Book Fair (September)

- National Feria of Zacatecas (September)

- Festival of Street Theater (October)

- Jazz & Blues International Featival of Zacatecas (October)

- Charro National Congress (October)

- Traditional Meeting Day of the Dead (Octover to November)

- Baroque Festival (December)

Accommodation & Boarding


Zacatecas’ main bus station is on the southwest edge of town, around 3km from the center. Many buses are -de paso- (which means they stop here en route between other cities). The station has a luggage checkroom, a pharmacy and telephone casetas. The former bus station, Centro Comercial Zacatecas (the ‘ex-centro’), is on Blvd López Mateos and has buses for local destinations including Fresnillo and Villanueva (for La Quemada). The cost for one ticket in the bus around the city is always around 5 mexican pesos. (1/3 of EURO)


Zacatecas’ airport is 20km north of the city. Mexicana and Click Mexicana fly direct daily to/from Mexico City and Tijuana and weekly to/from Chicago and Los Angeles. Anyway, always there's a contact person willing to go for you to the airport.


The place where you will be depends on the month to come. If you want to come in July or August, the school usually rent a hostel for all our Incomings. But if you want to come in another month, you're probably will be in the house of a local student.

Social program

We are famous for making one of the best social program in Mexico. Zacatecas itself is a beautiful city (UNESCO World Heritage), however, we understand that you come to Mexico, and is an opportunity to see many places.

During your stay in Zacatecas we organize three weekends for students.

1. MAGIC TOWNS WEEKEND: During this weekend, we visit "Jerez" and "Sombrerete". Jerez is a classic Mexican small town, which is just 57 km from the city of Zacatecas. This picturesque town was founded in the sixteenth century and still retains its colonial ambience, peaceful and dignified. Sombrerete is maybe the second most beautiful city in the state. This colonial city is your chance to meet the real Mexican desert, Somberete "the city of stone" is the house of beautiful churches of the Spanish baroque. Also in Sombrerete you have the opportunity to meet "Sierra de Organos", a set of rock formations, magnificent place for ecotourism, where you can climb. If you watched the movie "Caveman" (Ringo Starr), you know how looks "Sierra de Organos". This weekend is your chance to meet a real cantina, eating spicy food and really feel that you are in Mexico.

2. GUANAJUATO CITY. Guanajuato is maybe one the most important historical and cultural colonial cities of Mexico. Considered by many to be most beautiful colonial city in the Americas, owes its fame and fortune to rich veins of silver and gold discovered by the Spanish many years ago. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town has a year-round temperate climate and serves as a stage for world-class cultural events. It is also an intimate city of cafes and small hotels housed in colonial buildings and tucked into quiet corners. Guanajuato is known as "the city of labyrinths." Its streets are gems of emotions. During this weekend you may also visit "San Miguel de Allende", remember that it is much better to come in July, as well as your weekends will last three days and not two.

3. HUASTECA POTOSINA (INCLUDING XILITLA): The Huasteca Potosina is an area of jungle in the state of San Luis Potosi, ranging over various municipalities, including Aquismon, Xilitla, Tamazunchale and Taquin. The name Huasteca makes reference to the place where the Huastecos culture developed. The great cultural diversity of the Huasteca Potosina is preserved until today, formed by important native groups of more than 250,000 dwellers speaking náhuatl, tenek and pame. These groups have their origins in the Maya culture. Some places you can visit during this weekend are: "Waterfalls of Tamasopo", "Tamul Waterfall", "Cave of Swallows" and the extrange Surrealist Garden of Sir Edward James. If you've ever watched the video "We are the people" by Empire of the Sun, or "Try with me" by Nicole Scherzinger, you will know why you need to know this place.

Either way, you must to know that Zacatecas is an incredible place to spend one month. You really feel that the time is not enough to see the whole city (Althoug is not so big). The city has a legacy of History. Founded in 1546 after the discovery of a rich silver lode, Zacatecas reached the height of its prosperity in the 16th and 17th centuries. Built on the steep slopes of a narrow valley, the town has breathtaking views and there are many old buildings, both religious and civil. The cathedral, built between 1730 and 1760, dominates the centre of the town. It is notable for its harmonious design and the Baroque profusion of its façades, where European and indigenous decorative elements are found side by side.

Some places you will find in Zacatecas are:

- Mountain of La Bufa

- Cathedral

- Rafael Coronel Museum or "Masks Museum"

- "El Edén" Mine

- Teleferico

- The strange surealism museografhy of Pedro Coronel museum.

- Church of Santo Domingo

- Art Museum of Guadalupe

- La Quemada

- Fernando Calderon theater

- Zacatecan Museum

Local & National transportation

Local transportation

The cheapest way to travel is by bus, it costs 5.50 pesos MNX. and there are 17 different routes, however, our contact person will show you the easiest way to transport you from your house to the hospital and the major tourist attractions. You can also transport you in a taxi, however its cost is higher, but generally varies between 35 and 50 pesos MNX


73% of the entity presents semidry climate, the 17%, introduced temperate humid and is located west of the state, 6% is very dry occurs toward the north and northeast, the remaining 4% present climate is warm and humid south and southwest of the entity. The average annual temperature is 17 ° C, the average maximum temperature is around 30 ° C and occurs in the month of May, the average minimum temperature is 3 ° C and occurs in the month of January. The statewide average rainfall is 510 mm annual rainfall occurs in the summer from June to September. The semidry climate of the entity is a limiting factor for agriculture, it is seasonal and irrigation practices, the main crops: corn, oats, wheat, beans, peppers, sorghum, prickly pear and peach.

Social life

A traditional "Callejoneada"
If the city of Zacatecas is a place to behold during the day, at night the invitation to fun and unforgettable moments is extended to residents and visitors. On the streets of this city you can find discos and bars as varied in their concepts, that anyone can choose the best option according to your tastes and budgets. Here all is fun and entertainment. One of the best options is a traditional "Zacatecan Tamborazo" in a "Callejoneada" or until a lot of bohemian bars in one of the many colonial buildings that characterize the city as well as the fashionable nightclub inside a mine in disuse, where you can meet friends and dance modern musical genres.

If you're curious about what is a callejoneada, a callejoneada is a lot of people walking through the more beautiful alleys of the city at night, next to a regional band. Every important place of the city, people stop walking and start to dance and try some drinks carried by a donkey.

Special Remarks

Please bring your uniform (white shirt and white pants) and white shoes, scrubs, stethoscope, two child-sized color photographs, and proof of enrollment for your University. For Surgury or Neonatology, you also need a surgery attire, the color does not matter.


Come to Zacatecas, We're waiting for you. We love meeting new cultures and blend our ideas. If you're not sure that you want to come to Zacatecas, add Scope Intercambios-Medicina-Uaz and go to the album of "Incomings" on facebook. Contact us,

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Other cities offered for exchange

Acapulco, Chihuahua, Ciudad Mendoza, Culiacán, Durango, Gómez Palacio, Guadalajara, Guadalajara Zapopan, León, Mérida, Mexico City, Mexico City Xochimilco, Minatitlán, Montemorelos, Monterrey, Morelia, Oaxaca, Puebla, Saltillo, Tampico, Tepic, Toluca, Torreón, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Veracruz Pt., Xalapa, Zacatecas