This spring, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School, University of Szeged gave me the great opportunity to have experience in the United States of America.
I was quite nervous and excited to have medical practice in Los Angeles since I only had medical practices in Szeged, Hungary for the entire 6 years of my medical school life. This was my fist foreign medical practice! However, I was also scared because I went as one of the representatives of Szeged University from Hungary and I didn’t want to make mistakes in the U.S.
I started my practice at the end of March in ID (Infectology Department) USC medical center, one of the greatest pediatric department hospitals in California. My first day of practice was just for preparation before starting real practice, such as getting entrance card and another card for ID, taking mask fit test, reporting to health clinic in California, and taking pictures with finger prints for documentations. It was quite a busy first day. They introduced me the location of the building because the hospital was rather big.
The following day, I started my real practice at the Infectology Department of the Pediatric building at 8 AM. My supervisor came to me and introduced me how to log in and use the hospital computer program. (We had to take several exams before coming to the U.S. about how to use the hospital program, California medical law, hospital law, etc…) However, my supervisor gave me one patient to follow on the first day of my practice, so I could get familiar with the system. I read the patient chart before I visited the patient, and then I visited in-patient clinic to do physical examination. I was excited because patient chart was in English language and patients spoke also English. However, the hospital supplied service for language translation, so if you had difficulties in communication with a patient or a patient spoke a language that you didn’t know, you could call this service and they translated your language to the patient’s own language. This was a really helpful and thoughtful system.
After physical examination, I discussed with my supervisor about the patient. My supervisor asked me what my assessment and plan for the patient were. He taught me how to make assessment and how to do differential diagnosis. Medical professionals discussed the cases together with pharmacology and nurse professionals. It was really interesting how all these people from different fields got together to make better plan for patients. After consultation, I went back to the clinical office and wrote in the hospital program chart system about that day’s consultation. Besides in-patients, I also had several out-patients in the afternoon. It was a great experience to see my in-patients getting better and discharged. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they had online morning pediatric consultations. On Friday they had online case presentation. I also had a great opportunity to do presentation in the last week of my practice in front of them.
Every Friday, they had pediatric lectures for 3-4 hours in the afternoon. And also my supervisor gave me several new research papers to read them every week. It was only one month of practice but it was full of medical knowledge and professional experience that enriched my knowledge.
Infectology and Pediatrics have been one of my weakest subjects. However, after this amazing practice, I got enthusiastic about these two departments and I would like to study further in these two departments. Today, as covid pandemic hits the world, I think Infectology is one of greatest fields that is worth of further research.