Day 1 of socialized healthcare started out fantastic. The weather sucked, pouring rain, really cold, got a shitty coffee from Starbucks, tube broke down, hospital looks like a building from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, was overwhelmed with stuff to do, got lost coming home, wandered around the “harlem” of London for an hour, found my way back to Chelsea, tore my pants on the tube, made it home, find out that my iphone is still not working, had to go buy a small go phone, got home again, just sat down.
Through all of this I had a great day! I am on my 6 week core rotation in “Paediatrics” at Whipps Cross University Hospital in London England. Over the next six weeks I will rotate between the different wards; Neonatal ICU, Inpatient PEDs, Outpatient PEDs, Maternity, and ER. Each week we are required to take one 12 hour call in the ER. This week I am assigned to the Neonatal ICU or as they say “The Special Baby Care Unit.” I spent my first day getting used to being around these foreign objects by performing well newborn checkups in the maternity ward. Tomorrow will be my first day in the NICU. The healthcare seems more relaxed than the states; in fact the doctors introduce themselves on a first name basis to their patients. Due to sanitary reasons they do not allow white coats, ties, and you must either wear a short sleeved shirt or role up your sleeves. Considering I spent 12 pounds on dry cleaning my white coat and brought 7 long sleeve shirts from the States, this tid bit of information would have been useful upon my arrival. Overall the teaching seems really good, although I am on a “Paediatric” rotation we have various lectures covering all areas of surgery and medicine 4-5 times a week. Today, we had a lecture on the medical/surgical management in patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms.
The experience of living and learning in London has been just that, an experience. I can’t tell you what I think of their healthcare just yet. Stay tuned.
Despite a rough start, we are having a blast and I'll leave it to A to fill you in! Adios!