Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry 2023

Medical, Nepal Kathmandu

I am just about to graduate from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. As part of my degree, I have to do a medical elective. It is mandatory at my university to do part of my elective in the UK, but there is also the option of splitting it and doing some overseas.

This is exactly what I did and I spent four weeks in Kathmandu in Nepal. 

I picked Nepal as I really wanted a brand-new culture.

The reason I chose Work the World was I really wanted to be with other healthcare students, rather than being on my own or in a homestay for example. It was great meeting like-minded people from Australia, the UK and other parts of the world. It was also really great learning about their healthcare systems at home too. 

My journey to Kathmandu was long but smooth. It was so nice to be greeted at the airport by the team and taken back to the Work the World house.

The house is fantastic, it’s in a great location and is of really good quality.

When I first arrived at the hospital I was stunned. It’s the biggest and most modern hospital in the city,  but by UK standards it’s very basic.

Every patient (and their families) need to purchase every single item of medication and instruments used to treat them from the hospital pharmacy. They certainly do the best they can with the little they have. It really made me appreciate the UK healthcare system. 

My supervisors were great, really friendly engaging and spoke excellent English and got me involved. All patient notes are in English, although similar to the British system, it’s whether or not you can read the handwriting. 

If I did misinterpret something, I would ask and he was good at getting me involved. I found if I engaged with them, and asked more questions they were so much more open to getting me involved. 

Kathmandu is a great city, busy, but there is so much to do in it. The Thamel area is fun. There are so many temples, bars and restaurants. You can also go trekking to the Himalayas from the city, we did a beautiful sunrise trek. 

One weekend I went to Chitwan National Park. It was so hot the weekend we went, +40C but it was so much fun. 

For my final week, I went on the Village Healthcare Week. The location is beautiful. Healthcare workers would arrive with the patients you wanted to see. The host family were lovely and really accommodating, as was the Work the World guide. It was really good fun. 

My time in Nepal was great, the team in Kathmandu couldn’t do enough for us. The food was delicious, a great mixture of local dishes as well as more Westernised food. There were so many momos it was amazing!! 

I would recommend this experience to all medical students. It’s the only time in your life you’re most probably going to get this opportunity, I am really glad I did it as it was something I had looked forward to since I started medical school.

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