Report on my elective program
I cannot entirely describe how happy I felt, when I found out that I can participate in the elective program of the Medical School of Osaka City University. I have been planning to participate in an exchange program with a Japanese Medical School for over two years, so I was glad when Osaka City University provided me with this opportunity.
At first, I was worried because I barely speak Japanese and I have not have Neurosurgery or Plastic Surgery courses before, but I was also very excited, and I could not wait to meet all the japanese students and doctors, to experience the famous Japanese education system and to witness the even more famous, advanced technology.
On my first day, I was overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality of students and doctors alike. Nearly everyone I met, even if just passing on the corridor, were welcoming me, asking where I am from and wishing me a happy stay in Japan. They were so friendly and helpful, I have never felt like a foreigner but a warmly welcomed guest. I was impressed by how many people could speak English, and everyone did speak English for me, however difficult the subject was. The student groups I have spent part of my practice with were not only guiding me and translating for me, but were very enthusiastic about teaching me Japanese language. I learned a lot from them.
Both in the Neurosurgery and the Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Department, I found the training program amazingly well-structured and organized. The area I am most interested in is Neurology. During my stay in the Neurosurgery Department, especially on the everyday morning conferences, I acquired many different kinds of knowledge. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from doctors with such outstanding expertise.
As I visited the surgery theaters, I noted several things that could set an example. The first thing was the advanced technology and equipment of the surgical theaters. The second was the unbelievably calm and composed atmosphere during the surgeries. And finally - as far as I can tell with my experience - the flawless technique of the surgeons. The latter I found more spectacular during my stay in the Department of Plastic Surgery, where outward appearence is a key aspect.
I already heard about how good Japanese education was, still, it was surprising how much energy and attention the doctors devoted to the students. Even though I was a foreign student, and despite the language difficulties, the teachers restlessly explained everything to me as well in English, even during surgeries. As I obeserved the program of the Japanese students, it was not only well-organized but equally contained several kinds of theoretical and practical learning oppotunities, and encouraged the student's self-dependence and initiative skills. If there was something I was missing from my own program, it was the practice of manual skills, but regarding the nature of the given areas and my situation, it is still understandable.
To sum up, I was amazed by the respect, consideration and generosity the doctors and students treated me, each other and the patients with. I also found that those I met in the university/hospital would never be satisfied with reaching a certain level, but would always work on getting better, reaching further, reaching more. They resourcefully and restlessly work on making work more effective and life more convenient, not ignoring the smallest thing. And all this they do with overwhelming kindness and openmindedness, even toward a foreigner as myself. Though Hungary is far not as advanced as Japan, if we could only learn this kind of attitude, we could greatly improve our Heath Care System. At least, I hope that I can improve myself this way.
This five weeks I spent at Osaka City University Medical School changed me for the better. Due to this experience, I am more inspired, more motivated to be a doctor than I used to be. I feel like I improved a lot, and I see many ways to improve further. I am grateful for this opportunity, as well as for all the kindness, open-mindedness and generosity I was given, for all the things I have learned. I will work on finding a way to return to Japan, to return to Osaka City University, and I will encourage my fellow medical students to follow my example.