Visiting Student Reflections

Shirin Siddiqi

Dow Medical College-Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Pediatric Surgery
May, 2013

I was extremely lucky to get a chance to come to New York, the city I had always dreamed about visiting, and rotate at NYPH in Paediatric Surgery. Starting from the orientation on the first day to the exit interview on the last day, every experience was an out-of-world experience for me.
It was surprising to find an amazingly amiable surgical team because let's face this, given their stressful schedule, surgeons are not known for their compassion! However my team made me change my mind immediately. They made me feel welcome and encouraged interactive discussions. My attending went out of his way to answer any queries during rounds, clinics, or any operations. My residents sat down with me to discuss a case or a topic related to a new admission. Every Tuesday, our attending would treat the whole team to coffee where we would then sit down and discuss a new study published in a medical journal. Twice I was the only student scrubbed in with the attending in the OR; assisting your attending alone is both nerve-wrecking and thrilling!

Outside of NYPH, WCMC offered opportunities to attend weekly seminars and events arranged by students. I lost count of the number of friends I made in Cornell. The other visiting students and I had quite a lot of interaction throughout the month. Often we would make plans to have dinner together or to see some NY attraction. I also got time to explore NY on my own. It was during this time that I feel in love with this loud but extremely dear city that someday I would like to visit again. It was a pleasure to work in NYPH, and the 4 weeks passed in a blink of an eye.

Andreas Margraf

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
Adolescent Medicine, Psychiatry, and Public Health
April, 2013

My 4 week elective at Weill-Cornell was probably one of the most elucidating experiences during my medical career so far, both in the context of clinical cases as well as global health comparisons. Being accepted into such program was a great honor as well as a challenge, due to the overwhelming reputation and thus high expectations of this institution.

Throughout my elective I was not only amazed by the well-equipped and trained medical staff, but especially by the kindness from both doctors and patients on an everyday basis. Additionally, I enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere amongst the fellow Cornell students during the courses and various field-trips. The discussions were truly fruitful to gain a deeper insight into the US-healthcare system.

My elective allowed me to work in the fields of pediatrics, adolescent medicine, psychiatry, and public health. While at times it seemed necessary to act very independent in order to achieve the goals for the elective, I always had great support from both residents and attendings. Weill Cornell Medical College also gave me the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars of some of the world's most prominent researchers in their fields, who strive to inspire us young students and left very profound impressions.

Apart from the great clinical and research environment at the NYPH, New York has lots more to offer. Arriving, one is confronted with a loud but remarkably diverse city, great people from all over the world, some of the best museums worldwide, a bar and restaurant life that defines new standards and just some nice places to hang out and enjoy the time. This diversity of impressions, with regard to the city and the clinical life, make this an unforgettable experience, which I can only recommend to anybody interested in a challenging, but rewarding medical and intellectual surrounding.

Jay Ashwin Patel

Smt. B. K. Shah Institute and Research Centre, Gujarat University, India
Clinical Benign Hematology
April, 2013

From the time I got my acceptance letter, I just couldn't wait to get to one of the US top ranked hospitals, NYP. The location and the infrastructure of the hospital just can't be put into words. My 4-week rotation in Clinical Benign Hematology helped me augment my academic pursuits with unparalleled work opportunities. Working here helped me realize that NYP perfectly amalgamates talent, initiative and dedication of a medical professional with the belief that the patient comes first and that values do matter.

In the inpatient service, I rounded with attending, interns, residents and fellow, presented patients succinctly during attending rounds, wrote soap notes, gave presentations on topics relevant to my in-patients, and participated in consult services, where my patient examination was clearly observed by my attending and all my queries were explained in detail. In the outpatient service, I gained an appreciation of the various subspecialties within hematology/oncology. Case Conferences, organized by the fellows, provided a good opportunity to learn about various oncologic and hematologic diseases as well as their molecular pathogenesis and modern therapies. The varieties of cases and some rare and unique cases which I came across were really interesting.

Apart from helping me enhance my learning experiences in subspecialty of hematology, this rotation also helped me gain an appreciation for various psychosocial aspects, home care needs, the importance of communication with patients and families, goals of care in different settings, and the art of medicine in situations where only comfort measures are possible! I couldn't have gotten a more realistic and well rounded experience. Thank you WCMC!

Hesham Ghonim (Aboulabbas)

Kasr Al-Ainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt
Neurosurgery Sub-Internship
February, 2013

Before starting my rotation, I knew I would have a unique experience, as New York Presbyterian Hospital is rated #4 among U.S. hospitals in Neurosurgery. Upon the start of my rotation and on the very first day, I had a warm welcome and thorough orientation from the amazing person Dianne then I was rapidly immersed in the neurosurgery world.

My operative experience was fascinating. I scrubbed in a vast number of neurosurgical operations in a wide array of sub-specialties: Pediatric, Cerebrovascular, Oncologic, Spine and Functional. Senior residents and attending surgeons were very cooperative and informative, and they were even always keen to provide narrations for the procedures. I also did the brief operative notes for the procedures I attended. I really felt like a neurosurgeon every day in the OR. My inpatient experience was also one of a kind! There were always consults to see and new and exciting conditions to inspect. I listened to hundreds of professional descriptions for various imaging modalities, and my ability to read a CT or MRI has been radically boosted. In addition, I had the chance to spend a week in the Interventional Neuroradiology department, witnessing a wide variety of interventional procedures using cutting-edge technology. I highly recommend this rotation to anyone interested and serious about a career in Neurosurgery.

New York is an amazing city to live in. There is always something to do in this huge place: going to a restaurant after a long day, walking the streets of Manhattan, enjoying the awesome sight of Central Park, getting a cloud view of the city from the Empire State Building, or just enjoying a time out in a pub with friends on a Friday night. The huge amount of people from everywhere in the world traversing Times Square was a fascinating view. A wonderful month this was, and a bummer it ended.

Ashwini Hedaoo

Shri Vasantrao Naik Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Yavatmal, India
Clinical Cardiology, NYHQ
January, 2013

I am extremely obliged to OGHE of WCMC for giving me this opportunity to rotate at the Heart and Vascular Centre of New York Hospital Queens, fondly called the Heart Hospital of Queens. It was a real global experience to work in Queens, the most ethnically diverse urban place in the world.

I learnt about the clinical examination and EKG readings of conglomerate cardiac issues on the floor while rounding with cardiology attendings and the fellows and residents. While on consult service with cardiac fellows, it was thrill to follow patients with STEMI from the emergency room to cath lab, witnessing "door to reperfusion" time standards as per AHA. It was really nice to learn from one of the Cardiology Grand Rounds about Hospital's Cardiac Rehab Center's approach to minimize cardiac risk. Other morning conferences like Residents Cardiology Conference, Fellow's case, EKG and echo conferences gave an insight in learning Cardiology.

The robust service offered at NYHQ provided an excellent opportunity to see spectrum of Cardiology procedures. I had a naive rendezvous into the Cardiology domain of Medicine by learning about plethora of procedures ranging from non-invasive approaches like transthoracic echo, transesophageal echo, pharmacological stress echo, exercise EKG stress test to invasive procedures like cardiac catheterization, percutaneous balloon angioplasty, intracoronary stenting, intracoronary ultrasound, the electrophysiology studies and pacemaker implantation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this rotation. It's a great experience with a friendly atmosphere to work; with very dedicated and helpful fellows who did a decent job of letting me get involved and answering my torrent of questions.

Weill Cornell Medicine
Office of International Medical Student Education
1300 York Avenue (C-118) New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8058