After previous positive experience with BSM exchanges, I decided to go to the north of Europe again. Sweden. Even before going there, I was slighty obsessed with everything connected to Sweden. Food, cold weather, “weird“ people (in a good way!), good coffee, language, you name it. I wasnt disappointed!
Since I went there after my 5th year I could do Gynaecology/Obstetrics or Paediatrics. I got my second choice -Paediatrics. When I thought of department full of swedish kids, I rather signed up for swedish classes. But no worries, in Sweden everybody speaks perfect English, parents are present at the department all the time (not like here in Slovakia). I really felt welcomed in the team, partly because there were so many young doctors and residents and partly because thats the nature of Swedish workplace- there is no strict hierarchy, relationships at the workplace are friendly. Another amazing thing in hospitals was FIKA. Time of the day when doctors gather to take a break from work and drink coffee and chat. In the summer, when the schedule was not so busy, it was quite often J We were permanently overcaffeinated! They prepared for me little rotation in the Padiatrics department- Emergency department, Dep. of „light“ diseases and the last one- with more serious diagnoses. They conducted a simulation of paediatric resuscitation for 2 of us. To summarize it- it was perfect! They left it on me how much do I wanna do- I interacted with parents, asked questions (some of them even proposed to have the interview in English!), examined the kids. Understanding of interview with the patient (in swedish) helped a lot. Since I´ve already been to some exchanges, I got to say- they were quite strict about working hours and expected me to stay until 16.30 (some days earlier).
The international group in Gothenburg was quite big! There was 27 of us, from all around the world and we lived together in a dormitory, in rooms shared by 2, with 2 big common kitchens and garden. It was pretty and new. At the beginning we were given money/ coupons to have lunch in the canteen. Lunch was good and big and doctors had one hour off for it.
Contact persons took care of us and organised the trips. Some of them spent almost all their bla blasummer holidays with us, some of them only met us for a day (of course they want points for their exchanges! J) Big weekend trips were quite good such as boat trip from Stockholm to Helsinki, trip to archipelago in Gothenburg, big lake with canoe in Gotheburg, BBQ with beachvolleyball. Not all the activities were succesful though. For examle, pub crawl. One beer in Sweden is around 7€ so for us it was quite devastating. But there is so much to do in Gothenburg, that we did something almost everyday. City center is lovely, you go out, go for coffee (of course) with kanelbulle (that cinnamon roll that you can buy also in IKEA), buy SMÖRGÅS in literally any café (typical sandwich with prawns, mayo, egg and dill). You shall not forget to go to the government store before they close to buy some beer otherwise you are left only with the 2% one from supermarket.
Some advice- Sweden aint cheap. Even if you think you will try not to spend so much money,do not fool yourself- in the end, you will eventually go out with others, you need to eat, get to the hospital. All these basic activities cost a lot in Sweden! But it was worth it. The whole month was great. I miss the Swedes, that are not cold and reserved at all, indeeed are very welcoming and tolerant and open-minded, I miss the fresh fishmarket in the harbour, well-functioning health system AND- the perfect summer temperatures- everything LAGOM (means just right, not too cold, not too warm). Till nästa gång, Sverige!