- Cardiology in Vietnam (2018)
- General Paediatrics in India (2018)
- Surgery in Cambodia
- Singapore (& Melborne)
Cardiology in Vietnam (2018)
Cho Ray Hospital, Vietnam
Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery and ICU
How did you organise?
He then sends an application form and a list of things for you to send in e.g. CV, passport photo. Paediatric Cardiothoracics isn’t an option for elective students, so I initially did a week of A&E and then he made allowances for me as the paeds team were keen to have me.
Hospital fee: 2 000 000 VND/ week (~£65)
Visa: ~£100 (depends on whether you get a multiple entry visa)
Accommodation: can get cheap airbnbs near the hospital
Transport: Grab taxis (like Uber) to district 1 cost ~£2.50 (can get the bus or motorbike taxis for less)
Food: can easily eat for less than £8/day.
The canteen was very cheap:
Main meal in the hospital: £1
Veggie meal in the hospital: 15p
Iced coffee: 30p
Breakfast baguette and fried eggs: 50p
Describe a typical day
6:45 – breakfast in the canteen
7:00 – morning meeting
7:30 – see surgery, examine pre-op patients, spend time in NICU, go to the cath lab
11:30 – go to the canteen and meet up with the other elective students
12:30 – go home
12:30 – sightsee/ meet up with the others
NB: your time is your own and you can come to the hospital whenever you want. I chose to come early, so I knew what was happening on the day and could still have a productive day, while having quite a bit of the day left as free time.
What was the best part?
Lots of other students, so you have a good social life and there is plenty to do in HCMC. Got to see a lot of pathology and it’s great being able to see both the medical and surgical side. The doctors put in effort to teach you and get you involved. They also invited me on the monthly department trip, but unfortunately I was unable to go.
What was the worst part?
The language barrier between staff and patients. It is manageable and the doctors are patient enough to keep trying to explain until you understand. I managed to take “histories” from teenagers with the help of google translate.
Travelling & Exploring
Your days are really productive in the hospital so you have the rest of the day to do whatever you like. We also travelled around Vietnam on the weekends.
Things we did included:
– Ha Long Bay
– Floating Markets and the Mekong Delta
– Hoi An, Da Nang, Da Lat
– Bus to Cambodia (and then Bangkok)
General Paediatrics in India (2018)
Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
How did you organise?
Approx £130 for 2 weeks
What did you do on a typical day?
Ward round. Also went to A&E
Sometimes was ignored by team
Travelling & Exploring
Lots of travel! Vellore not the most accessible but not bad.
Made much better because I was able to speak language. If not, more difficult to engage with patients.
Surgery in Cambodia
I spent 7 weeks of the summer at the Children’s Surgical Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
To get in touch with the hospital we simply emailed the hospital CEO; we received a prompt reply accepting us, simple!
Over the 7 weeks we got involved in all sorts of operations at the hospital including orthopaedics, plastics, ENT. Although lots of patients were children the hospital also provided free care to adult patients. As well as clinical work, we were able to carry out research looking at infection rates in orthopaedic surgical cases.
A brilliant opportunity to explore your favourite speciality. I became very involved in surgery, and saw some paediatric pathologies that I would never see here in the UK!
Singapore (& Melborne)
I spent 5 weeks at Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne and 2.5 weeks at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore.
In Melbourne, I carried out a research project investigating cerebral autoregulation in preterm infants. The experience gave me real appreciation of neonatal intensive care and translational medicine – I was able to observe cell studies, animal studies and clinical research. The project was an invaluable learning experience and taught me many new skills. In Singapore, I did an attachment with the Department of Child Development, which was an interesting insight into different healthcare structures. I was involved with various clinics at the Department and observed multidisciplinary assessments and interventions. I also had the opportunity to get involved with patient recruitment and data collection for an ongoing research study investigating screen device use and sleep habits in children.
Well-established units, friendly people, abundant opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge, explore your interests and widen perspectives.