Exchange report - incoming students
Laredo-Mexico på andra sidan
Home university: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2013/2014
Name: Marie-Michele Lafortune
Email address:

Arrival and registration

Given that my rotation began in mid April, I was unfortunately unable to attend the introduciton day. However, my arrival to Stockholm was made significantly less stressful by the Pick-Up service. It was wonderful to have someone waiting for me and helping my navigate the train system. The student that picked me up helped me purchase a transportation card and she also showed me the best mode of transport and route to get to the hospital.

UTHSCSA-sjukhusets ingång


I applied through KI for housing. I was very pleased with my accommodation in the Jagargaten building. The room was clean, neat and had ample storage. The floor in general, including the bathroom and kitchen, were well maintained and regularly cleaned. The staff that takes care of the building were very responsive and kind, often bringing new kitchen supplies when we asked for specific items.
Studio 6 :)

Leisure time and social activities

I did not participate in the social events organized by the Global Friends largely because the majority occured prior to my arrival in Stockholm and also because those that did take place in April or May fell on weekends when I, for the most part, had trips planned. However, I did have the opportunity to engage in many social gatherings and events held at Jagargaten or organized by those that lived there. There was not a shortage of opportunity to interact with others. Given that the majority of the time I spent outside the hospital was with other students from abroad I found it slightly difficult to make Swedish friends. I think that if I had participated in classes or clinical rotations with Swedish students it would be more likely for me to have friends from here. I had a fadder assigned through the Global Friend program but I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to meet up with her, the month real went by quickly.

Fotbollmatch- UTSA (mörkblå med orangea strumpor) vann :D


Northwestern University, my home institution, is affliated with only a few centers in Europe, this fact played a large role in deciding where exactly I spent my time as an exchange student. I knew that I wanted to participate in an exchange program because exposure to different cultures and beliefs are essential to become a more understanding and compassionate physician. Additionally, you learn so much from observing how others engage with similar problems; often you see a solution that before you had never considered. KI provided me with ample information prior to my arrival. I appreciated the fact that they identified a contact person with whom we could get in touch. My home institution had a significant amount of information and guidance to provide with regards the KI program, which the primarily acquired from previous participants in the program. I was not required to be vaccinated prior to my arrival.
Texas flagga-framför sjukhuset

Courses during the exchange period

ELA005 : Internal Medicine 1
I did not attend a specific course. My time at KI was spent participating in a clinical rotation. My time was split between the Cardiology and Emergency Medicine departments. During my time working the hospital, I had ample opportunity to watch procedures and was able to participate in the delivery of healthcare to some patients. I was certainly not as independent as I am at my home institution but there are a number of reasons for this - the language barrier, lack of access to the health care records, and inability to read the records.


I think that KI does an exceptional job at organizing the exchange process for students from abroad. They made every effort to make us feel welcomed and provided us with ample contacts in case of any difficulties.
Laredo-önskade allt jag kom på (för mig själv och för andra)

Language and Culture

Given that I was only at the Karolinska Institutet for one month, I was unable to participate in the Swedish language course.

Thanksgiving hos Dr. McKenzie, den förra studierektorn

Studies in general

Coming from the United States' health care training system one of the most noticable things about the Swedish medical education system is the absence of a hierarchy. This produces a much more open environment in which to work and allows for, I think, much more fun and educational interactions between student and attending. There is an open dialogue between all involved in delivering care that does not exist in the US.


(I did not participate classroom/theortical teaching and thus cannot comment on the relationship between what is thaugh in the classroom and what one sees in the hospital).

Hematologi-gör utstryck (inte lätt första gången)