Sayaka Yamato, a fifth-year international student of General Medicine, spent her summer of 2022 in Denmark. She sends an essay and pictures.
To make a long story short, it was an “estas mirabilis”.
The idea of spending summer in Denmark after my fourth year came up to me naturally but intensively. As birds always return to their nests, it was time for me to go back to my second home country.
I spent a part of my high school time in Denmark where I had thought that I just wanted to stay somewhere I would never visit again if I miss the opportunity. Nevertheless, since then I have kept failing this strategy and I came back again countless times. Back then I had no language skills, no friends, or people I knew when I first I arrived there, but this time, my friends welcomed me very warmly.
I cannot emphasize enough that the preparation procedure was by no means easy as I was the first student from the Second Faculty who did Erasmus study at the Copenhagen University Medical Faculty. Still luckily enough, many of my Danish friends and my mentor doctor gave me a hand to make my dream come true and things go smoothly. The lesson learnt was that if there are many things you cannot control, a significant number of things are still in your hands.
For those two months in Denmark, I got to see hundreds of a wide variety of patients at different departments. This clinical stay got me not only to think what kind of doctor I wanted to be, but also what kind of person I wished to become. I met numerous wonderful doctors and medical students throughout my stay, and they inspired me. By seeing many cases, my knowledge from books turned into 3D and I could deepen my clinical approach towards them. I also got opportunities to follow highly specialised doctors all day long. One of the things I could never learn without this was the Danish medical system and the doctor education system. Especially the education system is unique and complicated. Definitely, it was perfect timing to get the best out of the exchange opportunity.
I followed many doctors every day. One day they explained their speciality, one day they also explained the Danish social system regarding medical settings, which is also critical to know. I appreciate all of them who let me join and gave me feedbacks. Since the hospital was located in a small town, we shared both of on and off times. We were not only co-workers but also friends. They encouraged me and gave me power to forge ahead and keep going. Through this experience, my future vision got very clear, and I can now see what my life is going to be like after I move back there. And more than that, I participated in the internship so long that I could revise my goal a couple of times, and it got my goal sharpened.
Doctors not only treat or cure patients but also take care of their family members. Normally, we do not have much opportunity to talk to the families, but this stay gave me much. Especially, as I am interested in paediatrics, which requires better communication to give the children better treatment. Every doctor taught me how. I wish I could be like them in the future.
When I was not in the hospital, I hung out with my hospital colleagues; we went out and cooked together. I also got to see my old friends from high school and old friends in my life. When I was in Copenhagen, it felt so breathable and fresh.
I must thank to both universities, Charles and Copenhagen, which gave me this unforgettable experience. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart to my best friend, Annette. She has been there for me all the good times and bad times. I could have never achieved that without her. Alexander supported me a lot when I struggled with the unexpected. Also, my friends in Prague who gave me a helping hand throughout the preparation and internship itself. You cheered me up uncountable times. Thank you.