I chose this program because it allowed me to really stand side by side with a doctor as if I was already a resident. It also allowed me to explore on my own and experience a whole new culture in multiple cities around the country. It was not really heard of around my college, so if I could experience the program, I would be able to return with stories and promote the program to other prospective medical students.
Timothy is a Biology Pre-Med student at Saint Michael's College. He aspires to go to medical school for Cardiothoracic surgery.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program provider assisted me with understanding what to expect and all the logistics of getting there. As for myself, I had to organize my way there, figure the financials, and keep an open mind as to what I may see in and out of the hospital. I also had to figure out transportation to and from the hospital, and while I thought I'd be on my own, I really had tons of help from staff and new friends!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Keep an open mind, and remember that you're going with people you may not know, so look at it as an adventure and embrace every single second of it! When you enter the hospital, remember to be humble, and appreciate every moment you get because you are a special guest in a place that people work in and care very deeply about!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
Depending on the department, you may or may not know what you'll see that day. Afterwards, it's up to you; there may be a group dinner, most likely a nap, and free time. That repeats throughout the week, and then your weekends could be full of travel, or staying in and relaxing, or maybe going to the beach!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear about going abroad was not being able to communicate with people around me! I was not very good in the native language at all. I was also worried that I would have been shadowing doctors for four weeks and not have the slightest clue as to what was going on. However, I took a deep breath and embraced every second. To my surprise, there were more people who could speak English than I expected which put my mind at ease.
Why Italy and not another country?
I chose Italy mostly because I was drawn to the wonderful cuisine and also the wonderful history the city had to offer. I was also drawn to the safety and the great climate right by the Mediterranean. More specifically, I chose the pediatric hospital because of its wonderful reputation, and I wanted to be a part of such a wonderful place!