Shadow Abroad in Athens, Greece!
Submitted by Miranda O'Connor - University of Mary Washington | December 07, 2017
My 4-week Atlantis Fellowship in Athens, Greece was by far the best experience I have ever been through. Atlantis allowed me to immerse myself into a culture I was unfamiliar with while also allowing me to shadow several doctors in many different specialties! During my time at Ippokrateio General Hospital in Athens, I rotated through Anesthesiology, General Surgery, ENT, and GI (while there was also Cardiothoracic surgery available!) All of the doctors I worked with were inviting and eager to help us learn, and were efficient at translating anything we were not able to understand. Furthermore, the living quarters offered to the fellows was stellar. I was in an apartment with 3 others, just 1 block from Syntagma Square, which is the center of Athens. It was extremely easy to navigate the area and easy to learn how to use the metro, tram, and bus systems.
As far as leadership went, my site managers were also very helpful and always available if you had any questions! It was nice to have the group meals multiple times a week to bond with others you did not reside with, and also to explore new places, or try new foods! My site managers were great at taking us to restaurants that offered authentic Greek cuisine to ensure we got the full experience!
Lastly, it was nice having each weekend to ourselves. Every weekend, my roommates and I made plans. Especially in Greece, or Europe in general, it is very easy to island hop, or travel to other countries fairly inexpensively. Athens was also nice because with the tram in Syntagma Square, we were only a 30 minute ride from the beach, which was a common destination many days after shadowing!
Overall, this was an amazing experience that was definitely worth it! From Atlantis, I gained clinical experience, cultural immersion, and also lasting friendships! (my roommate (from Greece) actually flew to my school last week and we still talk daily!) I would recommend this program to anyone interested in a career in medicine. If I can find the time, I hope to go on another Atlantis Fellowship!!