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GEMx-SNO Exchange 2019: Refreshing My Passion for Medicine

Filed under: GEMx Sponsored Events GEMx Student Reflections GEMx-SNO

Blog By: Roxana Ramos, medical student from Faculated de Medicina UNAM who was selected as this year’s GEMx-SNO exchange winner, by GEMx and SNO TUFH and participated in a five week exchange at Flinders University NT in Darwin NT, Australia 

I am a Mexican 5th-year medical student that was selected to participate in the exchange to Flinders University in Darwin NT, Australia. It took me a while to believe the great news, and after I did, my excitement grew every minute until the day of departure.

Flinders University

I spent 4 weeks in the Pediatrics Department of the Royal Darwin Hospital, each week in a different ward: General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Malnutrition, Postnatal and Special Care Nursery, and the Outpatient Clinic. Every day started with the 8 am handover, where each patient was reviewed and after that everyone left with their teams to their ward. I liked this part because it was when I could hang out with the other med students for a little while. Each team was composed by a consultant, a registrar, a resident, an intern (or not), and a student. During the ward rounds it was like what I’m used to: follow the doctors, write some notes, answer questions, examine patients, get papers, and the most important job of a med student: awkwardly be in the way. Since I had already had my Pediatrics placement in Mexico, I felt confident about what I was seeing and listening, but the cool part is I got to experience different epidemiology and learn about diseases like Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease, that are very rare in Mexico. The two major differences I noticed from my home country to Australia are: – Doctors care for a good work-life balance and the system allows them to do it. The hours are reasonable, the pay is great and in general, the environment in the hospital is so nice and happy. Since the first day I was there I’ve been trying to think how to change the mindset of thousands of years and millions of doctors in Mexico, so that we can have a better quality of life. No clue until now, except lead by example. – Material resources are abundant, so they don’t struggle as much to give the best management and treatment to their patients. This also has to do with the Health System structure, which is very efficient in Australia. Although in Mexico we have a universal Health System, people still must pay (at least a symbolic amount) for consults, hospitalizations, and medicines. Meeting some of the doctors there gave me an idea of the way I want to be when I grow up, not just as a doctor, but as a person too. It refreshed my passion for medicine. We also had occasional teaching sessions, which were outstanding. Some of them included taking history and checking a patient by ourselves, others were to review a specific topic, etc. The Department also had other activities like the Journal Club, X-ray meetings, and Grand Rounds, which were great as well. Apart from the one-month rotation, I got to fly to a Health Clinic in a remote community called Warruwi in the South Goulburn Island. To prepare for this, I had to attend a Cultural Awareness Workshop. I enjoyed learning about the Larrakia people, mainly because I knew little about them before this exchange. I was surprised by some of their traditions, like their kin and family relationships, their traditional medicine history and their actual epidemiology.

Receiving my diploma from Justin Seeling (GEMx Manager) and Vishnupriya Vijayalekshmi (SNO President)

After those wonderful and enriching weeks, I got to assist the TUFH 2019 Conference, which was the cherry on top. I met med students from around the World, I was inspired by the talks and workshops, and pleased to know that there are good people everywhere who are trying to help others. I was excited to learn that next year’s conference will be held in Mexico City, and the best part: I’m the new Local Team Manager. I’m looking forward to the exchange and the whole event.

SNO International Executive Committee 2019-2020

It was a very enriching experience in all aspects of life. I feel blessed for this opportunity, and I think that it impacted me (in a good way) to see how Medicine is practiced in other places.

Medicine is a Lifestyle

Filed under: GEMx Sponsored Events GEMx-SNO

Photo of Yassein Elhussein

Post by Yassein Elhussein, a medical student who shares his experience on the GEMx-SNO exchange program and completed an elective at the University Hospital Limerick, Ireland. 

I was lucky to have two weeks of clinical elective at University Hospital Limerick in Ireland as one of the 3 winners of the SNO-GEMx international exchange program 2018. This experience not only added to my clinical knowledge and skills, but it also changed the way of my thinking, my future plans, and career. It helped me to deal with different health systems, policies, and health issues.

It was the first time for me to travel alone abroad out of the African region. 4 weeks of being far away from my family and friends seemed to be difficult at first but as soon as I reached there all the fear and challenge changed to a sense of very exciting adventure. The journey started when I met my colleagues Prudence and Esther. Together we joined Mr. Gerard Byrnes’ surgical team at the hospital with Dr. Hellen, Dr. Awis and Dr. Shoib.

Yassein enjoying a nice meal with his colleagues.

During this period, I learned a lot from the team. I was impressed with the hospital departments, the new medicine, advanced tools and types of equipment as well as surgical techniques such as Robotic Surgery.  I got the chance to be an assistant in one of the laparoscopic surgical operations. ( lap. Cholecystectomy )

The hospital was amazing and the most thing I liked there, was the diversity of the working hospital staff and the team, which was a chance for multi-cultural exchange and building international bonds and connections across the globe. This experience helped me to see the beauty of Ireland and visit a lot of historical places and beautiful natural scenery in Dublin, Limerick, Tralee, and Killarney.

I also participated at the TUFH 2018 conference at Graduate Entry Medical School (presented 3 posters). It was my pleasure to meet GEMx Manager (Mr. Justin Seeling) at the conference and thank them for this great opportunity and support.

Yassein and GEMx Manager, Justin Seeling

Throughout most of my academic career, I have always sought out and taken positions in leadership roles in different students associations and communities. This stands true for my academic endeavor into medicine as well.  This experience motivated me to join the international SNO executive committee and serve as the Vice President with a very committed, motivated and amazing team.

Medicine has always been my childhood dream, a chance to satisfy knowledge curiosities, and, above all, an opportunity to make peoples’ lives better. It is unique, among all other professions, in that it deals with the most precious asset each person owns, his/her health, with all that this means in terms of delicacy, responsibility, and accountability. Thus, medicine offers an opportunity for personal and professional growth and a sense of accomplishment that no other profession offers.

I am looking forward to attaining more elective experiences. I would love to work at hospitals in the US, Australia, as well as in developing countries. That way I will be able to compare and contrast the differences in health care systems. Furthermore, I’m keen to meet health care professionals from all over the world to exchange ideas and experiences and to build long-lasting connections. I’m also ready and very eager to share details about my country and university with the rest of medical students out there.

Yassein working at the hospital

Last but not least, I want to thank SNO and GEMx for such great challenge and exciting opportunity and amazing experience.

This exchange program is one of my biggest achievements till now. Reached one of the target goals, hope to go far soon😊

Medicine is a lifestyle,🌸

Traveling is a lifestyle ❤

Join SNO, join GEMx, join the family ❤

 

Kind Regards,
Yassein Elhussein

GEMx-SNO Experience at the TUFH conference

Filed under: GEMx Sponsored Events GEMx-SNO

Esther Hallal

Post by Esther Hallal, a 3rd-year Medical Student at the Carol Davila University of Bucharest Romania. 

This August I had the privilege to be one of the winners of the SNO- GEMx elective student exchange program, and honestly, this experience has propelled me both professionally and personally in various ways.

I had the opportunity to interact with a different medical system and while working within the surgical unit I was able to develop my surgical practical skills and further my theoretical knowledge through real-life problem-based learning. During the internship, I had the chance to communicate with patients and colleagues alike; strong bonds were forged, so much so, that I wish to visit the hospital once again in the future.

After the hospital internship experience, the bar was set quite high, which is why I underestimated the impact the TUFH conference would have on me. Nevertheless, the conference did not fall short from revolutionary because I was inspired by the student projects and the passion with which they presented. The overall atmosphere of the conference persuaded me to become part of the Student Network Organization movement; whose goal is to help students rise together. This is how I became the European Regional Representative of the Student Network Organization and now it is also my mission to empower students alike around the world.

 

Prudence Baliach, Yassein Kamaland, and Esther Hallal at the TUFH conference

Group Photo at the Conference

Esther Hallal and two colleagues in their scrubs!

 

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