Exchange report - incoming students
Home university: University of Minnesota
Study programme: Medicine
Exchange programme: INK
Semester: Spring semester 2010/2011

Arrival and registration

I was only doing a rotation for 4 weeks, so I was not able to attend introduction day.  However, I had planned to come to Sweden an extra week before my rotation started to explore Stockholm and settle into the city.  This extra time was very nice as I was able to go to student health and meet with the international coordinator before starting work and felt more confident on my first day. I was easily able to contact everyone by either email or phone and they were happy to meet when it was most convenient for me. 
På gatan i Lahore som jag var över en helg


The housing was one of the best parts of my trip because of they other students that I got to meet!  I lived in Jagargatan through UAC and was overall very pleased with the experience.  The actual building was suitable and the rooms pretty basic, but the cost was reasonable for what you get.  There was some trouble with kitchen cleanliness and neighbor respect, but these are problems that tend to arise in any group living situation.  A few more english labels on appliances (such as the laundry machines or stove) would benefit everyone in the building but people were gracious enough to help each other with questions.  Living on Soder was great because of how accessible it is to the rest of Stockholm by public transit and the community of students there are very open to welcoming everyone as they come.   
Bild på rummet i Male Hostel

Leisure time and social activities

I went to the Global Friends Welcome dinner.  It was a nice event, but it was quite long and the night before my first day so I left early.  I also attended a club night put on by the CMB department that I found out about through one of my neighbors.  I know that the Global Friends held several events and they did a good job advertising them on Facebook, but they were all on the Solna campus and for those who live in other places it was sometimes too far to attend.  Most of my socializing was through the people that I lived with.  They were all very welcoming and they created the most fun for me as I had real connections with them.  I did not make any Swedish friends, but I did get to meet some of the Swedish students during a few events organized by my supervisor, which I very much enjoyed.       
Fick följa en klasskompis på hennes brors Pakistanska bröllop


I chose to do an exchange because I thought it would be interesting to see medicine practiced in a different part of the world.  I have worked in rural third world clinics before, but liked the idea of seeing medicine in another developed country. I chose KI specifically because my home university has strong ties with KI and I have Swedish relatives.  The pre-departure information was adequate from both my home university and KI.  A few more of the day-to-day logistics from KI would have been beneficial (expected hours worked, info about hospital attire, etc.)  Also some basic info about the Swedish medical system, such as how the system works for both patients and physician would have been interesting and helpful to feel a little more confident about what to expect. 
Hunza Valy i norra Pakistan. Otroligt vackert där. Reste där innan skolan började

Courses during the exchange period

ELA007 : Infectious diseases 1
For me this was a purely clinical course, with my time split between the emergency department and one of the infectious disease wards. The ward was interesting, but it was hard to follow patients closely as I don't have enough Swedish to participate on rounds or communicate well with all of the patients. The attending tried to find ways for me to participate, but I had to be proactive to be a part of the team and get answers for the things I did not understand. In the emergency department I had more freedom to visit patients if they were willing to speak in English and do the history/exam. Depending on who I was working with they allowed me to make clinical decisions and order labs as I saw fit. There was no clear definition of my role in either setting, so it was often hard to be sure that I was doing enough without overstepping my role- a better definition would be helpful. I also got to spend an afternoon in the TB specialty clinic and I found this very interesting. More opportunities to spend time in these clinics would be interesting and not take away from the other experiences.
Genomgång med läraren på barnpraktik


Overall I enjoyed my excahange at KI, it was a great opportunity to see how medicine is practiced in a different country.  The people were all very welcoming and helpful, allowing me to be included in patient care as the language differences allowed.  It was sometimes limiting to be non-Swedish speaking and I wish I had known how much this would impact my ability to be a part of the team before I started the rotation.  The UAC accommodations were suitable and the other students here really made my trip enjoyable!  
Ett av alla underviktigta barn från Barnpraktiken

Language and Culture

I did not do a language class, as I was not told about the option until after it had started.  Perhaps students should be informed before arrival so they can participate if in the country.   
På väg till barnpraktik, inget varmvatten så eleverna kokar det själva.

Studies in general

My advisor was very helpful, checking-in with me at least weekly to ensure I was having a good rotation and answering any questions.  I did not attend any theory classes, it was all clinical work.  I was under the impression that more of the day-to-day hospital work would be done in English rather than Swedish, perhaps this should be made more clear to students when they are applying to specific rotations.  Everyone I worked with in the hospital was very nice and accommodating to my presence, but there were no clear objectives about my role on the medical team.  They tried to speak English when discussing patients, but I still had to be very proactive in making sure I was included in the patient care.  This often left me feeling under-utilized as I could not contribute as much as I am capable of at my home school.  At my home university the students do essentially only clinical work with a few hours of lecture per week, rather than the balance here, which is lots of theory and less clinical work.  At home the medical student role is more clearly defined and integral to the work of the medical team.   
Den grupp jag var i Community praktik