Abdus Burahee - Medical Exchange student at Sun Yat Sen University, China

Abdus was assigned to three rotations during his hospital placement; Burns, Orthopaedics and Cardiovascular surgery. After a morning handover, Abdus would do a quick ward-round and clerk two or three patients. He would also have the opportunity to observe surgery. In the afternoons, he assisted in clinics, performed clinical examinations and got involved in clinical diagnosis and treatment plans. The Professor of Cardiac Surgery, Professor Sun, was very impressed with Abdus: ‘Having you with me in theatre and clinics has been an immense pleasure.  You’ve helped me understand your culture as I tried to teach you mine.  If you wish to consider China for your medical electives, it would be an honour to have you as my student.’

‘Without a doubt, the warm welcome and acceptance that I felt from my Chinese colleagues was the most enjoyable aspect of my internship. Very quickly, I felt like I was part of the team and not just an outsider who was there for a day or two. I was often invited to lunch by the nurses or to restaurants by the consultants. This aside, the variety of medical conditions that I was exposed to made this internship incredible.

‘This internship has provided me with the ideal setting to put my communication skills to test and subsequently improve on it. Again and again the language barrier hindered my ability to pass on ideas and thoughts but I developed other means of communicating. Being the minority, I understood the feeling of being left out. This has impacted positively on my ability to work as a team and to make sure everyone is included.’

I saw clinical presentations and surgeries that I would never see in the United Kingdom.

‘As medical students, we tend to face a considerable amount of competition throughout our career. Undertaking an internship in a foreign country sets me apart from the general cohort in terms of experiences and skills when it comes to my UKFPO application and later on for the Core Surgical Training program.‘