Noah Granger & Alice Ormrod
Medical elective, UK
University of Liverpool
Internship Nepal was a fantastic organization to undertake a medical elective with. Organisation of the placements in the various hospitals in the local area was well thought out with attention paid to the specialty chosen and goals of placement. Doctors on placement were very helpful in this regard also and helped to facilitate learning requirements or teach about areas of interest. Doctors all have a firm grasp of the English language so communication with them is no issue although communication with patients varied greatly and was affected by obvious factors such as educational attainment and age. This being said the Nepali people in general are often hugely welcoming and were always accommodating in terms of being able to perform an examination or assist in practical techniques. Of the placements I undertook I can recommend Neurosurgery in particular as there was an encouraging learning atmosphere (so don't be intimidated if your knowledge is lacking but you still want to see what it is about) and under the supervision of the many doctors you are able to participate in ward rounds (not just trail the doctors) asking and answering questions, as well as assist in surgery and enjoy the useful case presentations.
My colleague recommends the burns and plastics team for very similar reasons and we were both sad to leave when our time at those placements ended.
Placement is also flexible in terms of time so whilst you will no doubt want to get the most out of this placement with its fantastic team you will also be able to see many of the fascinating local areas such as Bouddhanath, Pashupatinath, Swayabunath, Patan and (my favourite) Bhaktapur. There is also the opportunity for trekking afterwards with a broad range of duration and difficulty. The only one I can speak for was the Annapurna circuit which was spectacular despite it being monsoon season.
Of the accommodation its location is in a good (read:posh) area of KTM with nice local shops and cafes for hanging out at. For me it was only twenty minutes from placement although you may have to travel up to an hour for some of the less common specialties in Nepal such as burns and plastics. It is only 15 minutes by bus from Thamel so dinner out with new found friends is easy. However you may wish to stay in most of the time (so long as you enjoy mildly spicy food) as the food made by the family is great in terms of quality and quantity. Dal Bhaat is the way forward. The house has many comfortable rooms and a common area for hanging out with fellow interns and chatting about experiences and each other's projects.
In terms of the family, they are all wonderfully hospitable with the ever helpful dali keti and Shila-ma caring after you at home and Nardev to help with placement matters. The family help to make Nepal feel like a home away from home (wherever that may be) and both I and my colleague are sad to leave this magical place.
Noah Granger & Alice Ormrod are 4th year medical students
University of Liverpool