Gent University 2024

Medical, Sri Lanka Kandy

Iris is a third-year medical student from the University of Gent. She spent three weeks on a medical placement in Kandy, Sri Lanka. 

My curiosity about different cultures and an interest in vastly different healthcare systems drove me to undertake my medical internship in Sri Lanka. 

My first impression of the hospital was that it was so busy. Patients were lying in corridors, and often, there were two patients in a bed. 

The hospital had very limited resources, which was a huge challenge for all staff, but they were so resilient.

For my first week, I was placed in the OBG department. I undertook ward rounds with the consultant and assisted with examining patients. I spent time in the scanning room with one of the registrars, who explained a lot to me, it was fascinating. I also got to observe a C-section, I couldn’t believe how quick the whole procedure was from start to finish. I got to see and observe practices I would never see at home, it was fascinating. 

The hospital supervisors were excellent. They were clear in their communication and seemed to enjoy having international students on placements. The local medical students all spoke great English, and it was great to be placed alongside them. 

As placement was Monday to Friday, I used my weekends to go travelling further afield. One weekend, with my housemates, we went to the magnificent Sigiriya. On another weekend, we went to Ella.

After placement, there was so much to do in Kandy. We often went to bars, to local cultural places, and generally did a lot of walking around the city. There was so much to see. 

I went to Kandy on my own but quickly became friends with all of the other healthcare students in the Work the World house. It was an experience I will never forget.

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