Published: February 6th 2012February 6th 2012
Namaste, everyone! Glad you're here! I'm reporting live from an internet cafe across the street from King Edward Memorial Hospital in Parel district of Mumbai. This is one of the most famous teaching hospitals in the entire nation (probably behind AIMS in Delhi), and I will be here for the next month or so. Initially, I was set on doing only Infectious Disease work, but I have had a change of heart and am going to be on both the General Medicine and General Pediatrics teams. Apparently, I'll get my fill of infectious diseases in these realms though.
Mumbai appears to a wonderfully large city with a friendly populace. I can already tell that my inability to speak Hindi is definitely going to dull the experience to a certain degree, but I find that my skill for gesticulation and haltingly-spoken English words are enough to get by. One thing's for sure: my fluency in Spanish is of no use here. Charu, where are you when I need you??
Perhaps it was my naivety, but I foolishly thought that I could arrive this morning at 11:15AM, get to the hospital by 12, get registered for my coursework, and then get
started on the wards. Boy, was I wrong. I spent the better part of today getting registered with the hospital, despite already having gone through a VERY extensive application process over the last 4-5 months. I had to get 6 copies made of my student visa, my already-submitted application, my 2x2 passport photo, my "Gymkhana fees" receipt, my tuition fees receipt (which I had to obtain standing in line at the bank for over an hour), and a couple of other items. It's absurd because I ALREADY did all of this when I applied. Needless to say, I won't be starting today.
I also checked into my room, which is located inside the KEM Boys Hostel. The medical students who stay here are officially in Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, and KEM is their chief teaching institution. Apparently, the general medical students' hostels are in a horrid, dilapidated condition, while we visiting students placed in the hostel "guest rooms" encounter more sanitary conditions. It's definitely not bad at all. I definitely need to buy some sheets, since using the default ones seems like a terrible idea. Check out the pictures below!
I have already met a couple of
medical students who have been super friendly and helpful. One guy, Neerav Shah, shares a common interest in medical administration. In fact, he plans on forgoing a clinical medicine residency in favor of pursuing his MBA. Not my cup of tea, but a very respectable decision in an interesting field. He is an "intern," which is analagous to a 4th year medical student back at home. I get the feeling after talking to him that medical students in India have significantly less clinical responsibilities than US medical students. Neerav mentioned to me that he is not really involved directly in coming up with a plan for patients, though he is expected to carry out the orders prescribed by his senior faculty. I suppose their real experience comes during the post-MBBS training they receive.
That's all for now. Be back again soon.