Hej, hej y’all!
So I wanted to give a little background before I go into this blog for those who don’t know what “core course week” is at DIS. Core course week involves a short study tour, which is ~3 days where you travel to other parts of Denmark with your core course (MPP), and then also a few days where you are participating in solely core course activities in Copenhagen. ****Warning: might be a long post
My core course week involved going to three different Danish cities Monday-Wednesday, which I will blog about today. Then a few other medical activities in Copenhagen on Thursday and Friday. It’s a really great week to really dive into your core course material and get close with the people in your class. My class is around 18 people and we have a teacher’s assistant, who is a current medical student, that travels and attends our classes (her name is Ida and she’s literally a perfect human being)
One last thing before I get started…. I would like to officially say I am over my sickness, those who have followed have known I have been not feeling that great, but I am finally feeling so amazing and back to my normal self 🙂 !!!
So the day started with us meeting at our bus at 7:15 in the morning!! I had to get up at 5 am in order to make my train by 6… let’s just say I was super tired the first half of the day. We traveled for about two and a half hours to another city in Denmark: Esbjerg.
Here’s a little map of Denmark that can help give you some perspective of where we went. We were in Western Denmark the first day, Southern Denmark on Day 2/3
I slept the entire way to Esbjerg and woke up when we arrived at our first destination…. Sydvestjysk Sygehus, the hospital of South West Denmark. We visited the Ear, Nose, and Throat department of the hospital, and honestly this was my favorite academic visit that we had on our short study tour. We were able to tour around the hospital and actually become familiar with some medical tools/procedures the department uses and performs.
A small group of us first went with one doctor, gastroenterologist, to use a Fibroscanner, an ultrasound machine that detects the amount of scar tissue on your liver in order to see if a patient might have liver cirrhosis. We were able to practice on each other! Fortunately, we have very healthy livers.
We then moved to another room where we tested our hand strength, reaction time, and mental acuity. Very different, yet fun activities. We then were able to actually go observe some of the physicians in action. I was able to observe an ENT doctor perform botox on a patient that had excessive saliva. This was such a cool procedure–the doctor kept emphasizing that this wasn’t necessarily an ENT job, but he really enjoyed doing it and was able to help, so why not? He said something to us that really stuck out to me and made me kind of rethink how doctors in the US should act:
“Being a physician is being a craftsman–if you have a gift, why not share it with everybody?”Some doctors in the US are so concerned with prestige and who gets credit/paid that they forget to see the bigger picture: the patients and passion***
****Denmark tidbit: It’s pretty interesting in Denmark, doctors don’t go by “Dr.___.” You call them by their first name. This really shows the level of equality Denmark has in the workplace and all over. People aren’t incentivized by titles and money to succeed. They all have the same level of respect for each other and are truly passionate about their profession. Doctors in Denmark aren’t necessarily paid much higher than other professions and all medical schools are free, so people who are really interested in becoming a physician will be able to do so and are not concerned with becoming a doctor just for the prestige and money.
After this we went to our first cultural experience: Men by the Sea. Our group wasn’t totally sure what the purpose of the statues was, but they were really cool and interesting… Our TA bought us some coffee at the coffee shop nearby afterwards!
Our next stop was a GP (general practitioner) clinic. We were able to question the doctor about her practice and the differences about Danish vs American primary doctors. She is the “gatekeeper” of all patients in Denmark, because you have to get a referral from GPs to see any other specialized doctor in Denmark. But usually you don’t need to see specialists because she dabbles in a lot more areas than regular US primary physicians. GPs can give pelvic exams, do short therapy sessions, check for ordinary sicknesses, and so much more. There’s so much info we learned here I might have to do another post just about this!
We then departed for our hotel and had dinner at an all you can eat restaurant: Restaurant Flammen. It was so so good! There were so many meats and cool foods to try (even kangaroo!!) Then some of my core course classmates and I hung out for the night and even found an Old Irish Pub, a popular bar in Copenhagen, in Esbjerg! All in all a really fun day!
We started the day with breakfast at our hotel and then traveled an hour and a half to Aabenraa for our third medical visit: South Jutland Hospital. Here we mainly heard from other doctors about their professions: cardiology, radiology, and emergency medicine (did you know Denmark didn’t get emergency medicine specialists until about 2000??). We also toured the hospital here:
We then went to our second cultural experience: the Funky Monkey Park, a ropes course/climbing park!! Super fun, but also a little rainy so it made it a little more scary than usual. There were so many fun courses with zip lines and cool elements. Afterwards, my class went to our hostel to freshen up a bit and then went off in groups to dinner–my friends and I went to a really cheap burger place called Burger Shack it was super yummy. We then came back and watched from Friends together and went to bed 🙂
Today was short and sweet! We visited a modernized castle named Koldinghus and learned a bit about the history of Denmark there. Then we had lunch at a really nice buffet at the castle, which had some interesting Danish food some of us were a little nervous to try. We then loaded up on the bus and headed home. We were all super exhausted and ready to be home, but we still have two more days of core course week!
So I’m super sorry this was a crazzy long post, but we did so much I had to blog about everything!!
Stay tuned for the rest of my core course week experience 🙂