Notes/Testimonials from previous students
My South Indian Elective
I travelled to India for my elective at the Jeyasekharan hospital in the summer of 1996. I was studying medicine in the UK at the time (University of Manchester) and this was the furthest from home I had ever been. Although it was nearly 20 years ago I still remember the extremely warm welcome Lindsay (a fellow student) and I were given. We were welcomed into family life, and involved in trips around the area including Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, a trip into the hills on top of a jeep, and memorably a family engagement party. I have fond memories of sitting in the garden eating mangoes and ice cream and trying to learn to speak Tamil!
More importantly, on the medical side, what struck me the most was seeing diseases I’d never come across in the UK. A young boy with diphtheria, a man with tetanus, lots of necrotising fasciitis and end stage diabetes, another young boy who had been run over by a cart and sadly didn’t survive. Many of these memories have stayed with me, particularly when vaccinating patients and now in working in a major trauma centre in the UK as an Emergency Department Consultant.
At the time of my elective I was interested in pursuing obstetrics as a career and was very grateful for the chance I had to deliver many babies during my elective as well as gaining a large amount of surgical experience. This was experience I drew on a few years later in my obstetric training in the UK.
More random memories include the series of jars containing dead snakes that had been caught in the hospital, a flag-raising ceremony for Indian Independence Day, the children’s playground in the hospital which I understand is now the Paediatric Unit, and a visit to the Government run TB hospital.
I still have fond memories of my stay in South India and I can truly say it changed my perspective on the world and sparked a lifelong interest in travel. I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given as a 22 year old to experience a different culture .
– Helen Wilkins (Blackhurst at time of elective)
Shona Duerden and Nicola Stirling are junior doctors in Edinburgh, Scotland. They visited the hospital in 2014 and Shona shares her experiences here:
We visited Jeyasekharan Hospital in August 2014 for 7 weeks as part of our medical degree programme. We chose Jeyasekharan Hospital to undertake our elective period for two main reasons. Firstly, we had contacts who had previously worked at the hospital and remarked on its medical standards and teaching and secondly, because we were keen to visit India and have a new cultural experience. We were immediately embraced into the hospital community and touched by how welcoming everybody was. Our experience was incredibly worthwhile from both a medical and personal perspective. We were able to experience a different healthcare system and were exposed to a wide variety of medical conditions. Patients and staff alike ensured that we had a rich educational experience whilst at the hospital. The Jeyasekharan family enhanced our wonderful experience and showed immeasurable kindness which extended beyond the workplace. We felt privileged to be welcomed into the family and embraced into the culture. Thank you all very much for such an unforgettable time.
Excerpt taken from The Electives Network
“My time in India was an enjoyable and educational one. I would wholeheartedly recommend this hospital for those wanting to undertake an educational elective whilst also being able to experience Indian culture in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I not only experienced a different form of healthcare but also added to my own knowledge and skills.”
– Stephen Baxter
Clinical Interest: General Surgery