Tag: Exchange

An Exchange Story in Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussels –An Exchange Story in Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussels –

Hello! I am Arsya Auliya, a medical student at Universitas Airlangga. I got a great opportunity to be a CIMSA-IFMSA Medical Exchange’s outgoing in Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussels, Belgium. On February 2023, I got an acceptance letter that invited me to participate in a medical exchange program in Brussels, Belgium. This program aimed to foster cross-cultural understanding and knowledge sharing among medical professionals from around the world. I had always dreamed of expanding my medical knowledge beyond the familiar walls of the hospital in my hometown.

Arriving in Brussels, I was immediately mesmerized by this city’s stunning architecture, amazing history, and vibrant atmosphere. Brussels is the capital city of Belgium. It lies in the north-central part of Belgium, that has two different region which are Flemish Brussel and Wallonian Brussel. This country is a bilingual-speaking country in French and Dutch. English is spoken as well as those languages. It has many variative cuisine, beautiful historical and architectural landmarks, and attractive traditions. One of Brussels’ famous landmark is The Royal Palace of Brussels. The King’s administrative residence and primary workplace is the Royal Palace of Brussels, where he meets daily with his staff. The King welcomes leaders of political organizations, foreign guests (heads of state, ambassadors), and other guests at his office at the Royal Palace of Brussels.

The hospital located in Jette municipality. When I was arrived, a local student welcomed me and guided me to my dorm. Luckily, it’s pretty and clean. I attended Upon Arrival Training in one of the incoming’s dorm and they explained all of the things that we have to learn about this city, hospital administration, public transportation, also how to laundry and many food recommendation. The exchange program had participants from various countries, which are Malta, Lithuania and Turkey. Each of them bringing their own medical expertise and stories. I was paired with Dr. Janssens, a passionate Belgian abdominal surgeon known for his advance techniques in minimally invasive procedures. I accepted in General Surgery department and attended various surgery cases in a month.

I observed about 3-4 surgeries each day. There were many interesting cases that rarely found in Indonesia, such as nissen fundoplication procedure in GERD patients and laparoscopic hernia repair in patients with complications. The Nissen fundoplication wrap normally appears as a large fundal mass with a smooth contour and surface. A partial fundoplication is created with the fundus partially enveloping the distal esophagus, enabling a reduction in postoperative dysphagia and gas-related side effect. That was my very first time assisting in real surgery to the patient, so they teached me how to do aseptic techniques such as hand hygine, how to use sterile gowns, and how to works in the operating room during a surgical procedure. I assisted in 7 surgeries, which are nissen fundoplication, hysterectomy, and five circumcision patients. I also performed urinary catheterization in pre-operative patient. I also observed robotic surgery for a few abdominal cases. It was very interesting because I haven’t seen it in my pre-clinical term. Every week, I attended 6-8 hours per day. Every doctors and nurses welcomed me kindly and taught me steps in surgeries. I learned a lot from them.

On weekends, I explored Belgium from one city to another one. Belgium is a small country, so it’s possible to go to each city for one day trip. I went to Antwerp, Bruges, and Leuven. My favorite one was Bruges, it’s a pretty city with many tourist attractions. I also went to the other country in Western Europe such as Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland with other exchange incomings from Universitas Airlangga.

In the end, my medical exchange in Brussels not only broadened my professional capacity as a medical student but also highlighted my power of unity in diversity. Through shared knowledge and experiences, I had learned that regardless of borders, languages, or backgrounds, healthcare professionals around the world were united by their commitment to healing and compassion.

Clinical Experience in Messina, Italy as an Exchange Student –Clinical Experience in Messina, Italy as an Exchange Student –

Kuliah Kerja Nyata or KKN is a program in which the students are doing community service in Indonesia which lasts for 1 month. Students are also given the option to undergo this program abroad by KKN Penyetaraan. This will give the student a chance to have clinical clerkship in a hospital abroad.

This August, we were given the chance to go abroad to Messina, Italy, as a form of KKN by the Center for Indonesian Medical Student Activities (CIMSA). This program was also hosted by the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). This exchange program allowed us to do a clinical clerkship at Messina, Italy. Specifically at The Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Gaetano Martino. This program was held from the 1st of August until 31st of August.

The Italian Republic, Italy is home to approximately 59.11 million residents and spans an area of 301,338 square kilometers. In 2021, Italy achieved a ranking of fourth place in global healthcare standards. This recognition is attributed to the healthcare system’s exceptional quality, equitable accessibility, and its positive impact on the overall health and life expectancy of the population. In 2019, Italy experienced a modest 0.30 percent increase in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The administration of Italy’s healthcare system is overseen by the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), a national health service with regional branches. This system extends universal healthcare coverage to both residents and citizens, with public healthcare services typically being provided at no cost (DelveInsight, 2022).

Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Gaetano Martino offers patients a lot of services and we were placed in the Anesthesia department which allows me to observe and get a bigger picture on what the Anesthesia  department does. The first day of our clinical clerkship at the hospital, we were introduced to the doctors there. There was a language barrier ,but we can still communicate well. The doctors are able to tell and teach us what they do there. The doctors, residents, and nurses are very kind, friendly, and very excited about having us there and teaching us. We were given the chance to observe a surgery and to observe and learn what to do in the ICU. We were taught on how to monitor the patients, the technologies used in the department to monitor the patients, and the way the drugs are administered to the patient. We observed an abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery which is a potentially life-threatening condition involving the enlargement of the aorta, the main blood vessel. We learned that the anesthesiologist’s role is to maintain the stability of the patient’s condition by continuously monitoring the patient’s vital signs, such as the heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate.

This program is not only giving us a chance for clinical clerkship, but also for cultural exchange, as there are also a lot of exchange students from different countries. The Local Exchange Officer (LEO) organized a National Food and Drink party, an activity where we bring foods and drinks from our own country. This activity introduced me to a lot of foods and drinks from another country that I did now know. Besides that, they also organized several social programs for us so we can know more about each other and know more about Messina.

Some of the social programs we have done are hiking. We went for a hike to a mountain named Etna. It was a very tiring but also a very fun experience. We also went to another city in Sicily called Palermo. Palermo is the biggest city in Sicily which is also known for Quattro Canti, the center of the historic quarters of the city. During our time there at Palermo, we also went to Cefalu, a really beautiful beach near Palermo.

This opportunity is very valuable for us and we are grateful for this experience. This experience allows us to have a clinical clerkship in another country and also learn about other cultures there. We learned about how the health system in Messina differs from Indonesia and how the cultures differ as well. After this program, We have more knowledge and a bigger picture on how the doctors treat the patients and also learn more from other exchange students which allows me to become a better doctor and also a better person in the future.

Source: DelveInsight. (2022). Italy Healthcare Outlook. Retrieved from https://www.marketresearch.com/DelveInsight-v4028/Italy-Healthcare-Outlook-30628316/#:~:text=Italy%20is%20the%204th%20country,expectancy%20of%20the%20Italian%20population.

By: Jeffrey Aldric Afaratu (Student of Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga)

Being an Exchange Student in Egypt for A Month –Being an Exchange Student in Egypt for A Month –

Hello I’m Noormala Rizka, I’m 22 years old from CIMSA FK UNAIR. In this summer break, I joined professional exchange by SCOPE CIMSA, so that’s why I went to Egypt for and stayed there for a month. I flew from Jakarta on 30th June and had transit in Dubai and arrived at Cairo on 1st July. I still had to go to Beni Suef by microbus for 2 hours because I had to do my exchange activity in Beni Suef.

On the first day I came in Beni Suef, I just cleaned up myself and organized all my belongings at the apartment and didn’t forget to meet the others incomings, I had a great feeling after met them all because all of them are very welcome and nice even though they are older than me. On the next day I had a Pre-Arrival Meeting and the local committee told me about my activities for one month and also about cultures in Egypt especially in Beni Suef. I started my first day at the hospital on Wednesday 5th July because they said that others doctor just came back from holiday so they were ready at the hospital on Wednesday. On my first day at the hospital, we had a little introduction with doctors and others hospital staff there. All of them greeted us very well and I really had a great feeling with it. But I just have 1 operation because we have to alternate with others incomings because the schedule was not fixed at that time. First operation that I got was submandibular gland excision and it was very interesting, also there was a doctor who told me and my friends about procedure for that operation. On the 2nd day I had so many operations because we could explore all of operations in 1st and 2nd floor that specifically for surgery. So those several operations were cleft lip operation, femur fracture, removing bolt, and spleen tumor operation. Glad for me because I could see another operation in another department like orthopedy. On my 1st weekend, I went to Siwa for my 1st social program. Siwa is located on the border of Egypt and Libya, it took 12 hours to go there. When I was in Siwa I went to many palaces, salted lake, Siwa oasis, and also Sahara desert. I thought Safari at Sahara Desert was the best experience among all destinations in Siwa.

My 2nd week activities at the hospital started on Monday and I got so many new cases like congenital indirect inguinal hernia, bilateral tonsilitis, circumcision on g6pd deficiency patient. It was my first time to see hernia operation and as the time goes by, I realized that hernia is the most common cases in this hospital. It was very exciting because I can see an ear-nose-throat operation for the first time. It didn’t finish there, I also got to see a section cesarean operation and obstetrics is one of department that I have interest on. That was very cute to see the baby born and my heart melted at that time. For my 2nd social program I went to Dahab on Wednesday night. It took 8 hours long and we have to stay for one night at Sharm El-sheik first. Sharm El-sheik is the one of the best city I’ve ever been in Egypt. It’s reminded me of Bali because it have such a modern touch of cityscape but also have many beaches as their tourism object. We went to Dahab on the next day and directly went to blue hole beach and blue lagoon for snorkeling but I didn’t do snorkeling. We went to Twaylat mountain to see egyptian performances like belly dance and firework attraction. The next morning we headed to three pools beach and did the safari ATV to see the view from the mountain. When the night came, me and my friends walked around the market to see some souvenirs and I bought some. They continued to go hiking at Mount Sinai until the sun rises and I was staying at the hotel after they arrived we just heading back to Beni Suef.

And here we are on my 3rd week of exchange nothing special in this week because I just doing my regular activities at the hospital. But the funny thing is that me and some of my friend didn’t go to Luxor-Aswan for our social program. Because I thought that I need more time at the hospital. But I went to Cairo especially Egypt Mall in the 6th of October region. I watched Oppenheimer but with Arab Subtitle that was so funny because I couldn’t understand it clearly. I had a precious experience because I got to see a whipple surgery, a procedure of operation for pancreatic cancer. Usually It takes about 6-7 hours long but as long as I can remember the doctors there just need around 5 hours long to finished the operation. I also got chance to go to the clinic to see how the clinical procedure for general surgery works. it was kinda interesting and the nurse was so nice, she offered me a tea and almost all egyptian did that to regale their guest.

I got such an ups and downs feeling on my last week there. I just got my chance to be an assistant on my last day on the hospital because the local committees just had a miss communication with the hospital, but It still be a precious moment for me. I went to Cairo for my last social program but I also had to say goodbye to Beni Suef because I wouldn’t go back there. I went to Giza pyramid, Citizen Museum, Al-Azhar park, some mosque, also I went camping at Wadi Degla. And I was so glad to explore more about Cairo and strolled to downtown to eat some foods and the rice pudding was very good. I went to khan el khalili twice to buy the rest of souvenirs, and it really has a good price. On my last day I went to Coptic Cairo to see the hanging church but i didn’t have much time to see all of it. After that I just went back to hotel and took all my belongings and went directly to the airport. I arrived in Indonesia on 2nd August  it’s Wednesday night. I think those all for my exchange stories, glad to be back safely to Indonesia and I hope all the experience I got from egypt will be a good memories to keep and good knowledge to apply.

By: Noormala Rizka Fitri

Mahidol Exchange Experience –Mahidol Exchange Experience –

Hi, my name is Raushana Amira Zuraida. I am a third year medical student in Universitas Airlangga. During the semester break, me and twelve other students got an opportunity to participate in the student outbound program to Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Thailand. The registration of this exchange program is through the Office of International Affairs in our faculty.

Our program was an internship program where during the first week we attended lectures about topics from each laboratory at Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University. The lecture topics are about Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) & Fluorescent Protein Technology, Thalassemia, and Vaccine. After lecture, usually we have some laboratory sessions as well, such as micro pipetting, etc. These laboratory sessions are something new for us since we got into medical school during the pandemic and could not do the laboratory sessions in our university offline.

On the second until third week, we were divided into small groups of two or three students. Each group will intern in a laboratory and do an experiment there. I happened to get the Virus Laboratory with my friend, Farhan. We were supervised and taught by Dr. Wannapa Sornjai. She was really kind and friendly to us.

In the virus laboratory, we did an experiment which is determining the effect of HA-15 treatment on ZIKV or zika virus infection in Vero cells. We learned how to culture cells, extract RNA from cells, and at the end we did a PCR test to test the virus. This was very new for us because at that time, we still does not know much about virus or molecular biosciences. But Dr. Wannapa gave a really clear and well explanation to us and gave us guidance during the lab sessions so we could minimalize error during the experiment.

Mahidol University is one of the best university in Thailand and is located just outside the capital city, Bangkok. It is also really big, we usually go around the university complex using a mini bus that is provided by the campus. It has a huge iconic hall and huge student center for the students to do their student activities. They even have Starbucks in the campus complex.

During the weekends, me and my friends went out to Bangkok’s tourist destinations, such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Chatuchak Market. Wat Pho and Wat Arun is Thailand’s must visit and iconic Buddhist temple with its colorful pattern. Chatuchak Market is a weekend market where we can go shopping for some affordable clothes, souvenirs, and other things.

This program gave me a new view in the medical field which is research in the laboratory. We can explore many things that is in line with our interest and learn deeper and do some experiment that could lead us to innovations, or new findings in science. I learned a lot new things here, especially during the experiments since we had the opportunity to do the experiments hand on.

By : Raushana Amira Zuraida