Off To Elective

Alrighty! I’m here in India!

Coimbatore, to be precise. A city in the southern part of India. Here I am to do my 8 weeks in a hospital in rural medicine and Emergency medicine.

So. Why’d I choose this place? Well it’s a developing country. It’s what uni recommends to do on your elective. Go to a developing country and learn about the health system there! That’s what I intended to do. I’ve also been to Coimbatore before, So I’m familiar with the city and the hospitals. I figured this would help me get into the system straight away without too many new place barriers. And I was sure I’d see so many different things.

So I got here. Met my supervisor who is a 70 year old woman, still practising medicine. Which for me was a big shock. Like sure I admire her drive and commitment to medicine even at this age but Gosh I would not want to keep my brain going for that long. 

Anyway she was really lovely. And unlike my selective last year (if you remember, where I found my supervisor was on a holiday and I never met him), she was on to planning my 8 weeks straight away. She took a genuine interest in my learning and said that because I’m the only student at this hospital, I can pretty much see whatever I want, and she would organise it for me. 

Major advantage, that. As opposed to going to a hospital somewhere where there are a lot of other students to compete with to see interesting things, I like being the only one given these opportunities. 

I also think I’ve picked a good hospital in terms of patients. While they all have different pathologies etc, they all speak English! Which was super impressive. I was fully prepared to have to take histories in Tamil (the language here), but it turns out that may not be as hard as I thought! So yay!

The plan for the next 8 weeks is quite varied. My supervisor is more keen than I am to get me to see as many things as possible. While my focus will be on rural medicine and ED, she also wants me to spend time with her in geriatrics, put me in neurology, nephrology, and anything else I want to experience. 

How neat is that!

I think it’s also good for my short attention span because I get tired of runs pretty quickly. 6 weeks can often be a very long time, as I’ve said lots of times before. Hopefully the variation in these 8 weeks will make that a lot easier!

So. First days are always first days like. Getting lost in hospital, making awkward conversations with the other doctors, smiling a lot without much reason, etc. But I do expect it to get easier. As most runs have.

Will keep updating! For now, I gotta go meet my supervisor! 

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