Name: Stellina Chrysostomou
Year of study: 4.
Faculty: Charles univerzity 1. Faculty
During the summer 2008 (5 July – 5 of August) I particioated in the IFMSA Exchange program in Sardegna – Italy.
As soon as I arrived there, an IFMSA contact person (studying in the university of Sassari) came to pick me up with his car from the train station and took me to one of the student residences where I was supposed to by staying. I shared a 3 bed room with two more students participating in Exchange program. Our room was clean enough and spacious for three people but we had to share 2 bahtrooms for the whole floor (aprox 10 people) and there was no kitchen or laundary facility within easy access. Also, me and my roommates had to share one key since they could not provide us with anymore, which led to some inconvenience.
Moreover, the university hospital and cafeteria aswell as the train and bus stations where just a few minutes walk from student residence so this was convenient.
As soon as we arrieved we were provided with cafeteria card that we could use for 2 free meal/day excluding weekends. Meals were quite appetizing, reasonably healthy and included a variety of dishes. The last few days of Exchange the cafeteria had been closed so we had to provide our own meals, even though we were supposed to receive some mony from the local committee we did not.
As concerns the social program ( even though there was no organized in advance social program) students of the university and the committee had arranged a 3 day trip for us, which of course we paid for. This trip included a visit to the beatiful Sardegnian village, named Gavoi, where we were treated as king and had great feast on some delicious traditional dishes, an 8 hour expedition to a canyon named Gorropu, and another short 2 hour hiking to a mesmorishong beach of Gala Golorize. On other occasions we (the exchanged students) organized day trips to various cities of Sardegna, major ones incuding Cagliari which is the capital, and a wonderful city to visit asi t can offer both an old part with great history and a more medernized newer part. Alghero with its lovely habour and so many attraction to see ( churches, Neptunes caves when taking the boat) aswell as good restaurants and Olbia, which can offer beatiful coasts outside the centre but not much when walking in its center. Also, Castelsardo is definitely a place to visit when going to Sardegna, a castle resting at a peak and a great part of the city buil around it.
Sassari the city we were staying in was a nice but more of a quiet and small city with not so much to see, therefore we spend most of our time exploring other parts of Sardegna which required the use of a lot of transport means ( train, buses, renting a car) which was neither economic nor convenient as the transport system in Sardegna are quite difficult to use due to the non-flexible timetables etc.
During the morning hours, from 8:00 – 13.00, I spent at the hospital in the department og General surgery of the university of Sassari. The department was governed by a chief Doctor who was responsible for te organization of the whole depatment. All surgeries where performed by two professors and no other doctor was allowed to carry out surgeries, but only to assist. Interns were mostly assigned taskts that had to do with patient report preparaions and general postsurgical treatment ( blood taking, wound treatment etc) and doctors with greater experience in the field also performed ultrasounds, introduction of ports, catheterization etc.
The hospital enviroment was extremely warm, all personnel was treating us exceptionally well and it was a pleasur to experience and to assist in such department. As concerns patients, they were also more than willing to be observed and had no problem with our presence. However, I noticed that a major dofference involoving the practice in comparison to the Czech republic is that students were not allowed to have a lot of phyfical contact with the patient.
Whatsmore, during the summer there were specific days allocated for surgeries like Mon-Wed which took place during the morning until noon. Therefore, these days I spent in surgery rooms observing operations sucha s those for colorectal carcinomas (colectomy), breast cancers (mastectomy), quite a lot of cases of Echinococcosis, hysterectomy etc. During the following weekdays I spent in the ward observing doctors performing postsurgicak treatment such an application of medication, catheterisation, ultrasound examination etc.
In closing, I would like to say that this Exchange was for me a lifetime experience and greatly rawarding as concerns my medicali carrier. I have met wonderful people both in and outside the hospital with whom I will definitely maintain contact, I got familiarized with traditions and customs af Sardegna and even though there where some downsides as concerns the student residence and transport facilities, I can still say that I would recommend sucha n echange to anyone.