My name is Elena, and I am 4th year medical student in LFUK Bratislava. This summer I decided to make a change and to try something new- to go for intership abroad. The country I chose was Portugal. I have heard many amazing stuff about summertime spend there, so my expectations were pretty high. But I must say, that my experience was even better. There were also many Slovak students from our school, so we mostly managed to travel together.
We travelled by plane from Vienna straight to Porto, where our CP was waiting for us at the airport. Mostly everywhere we travelled by underground, and it was easy to get to any place. In case, we stayed at night longer than underground opened, Uber was great option as well. City was perfect. It is the second largest city in Portugal, and because its not capital, it was not overcrowded with tourists. Also the weather was nice + 20,+28*C, so we could spend many free afternoons at the beach. There were several options. Moreover the city centre was interesting to explore. There are typical Portugal buildings with blue ornaments, beautiful sunsets at park, tiny streets downtown. This city has special atmosphere. After two weeks I felt like home. Also I would like to highligt that coffee in Portugal is really cheap everywhere and even that from hospital machine tasted great ☺
Department I attended was cardiothoracic surgery. It was situated in university hospital Sao Joao. The department was quite new, doctors were very friendly and helpful. They spoke English well, so communication with doctors was easy. Patients mostly spoke Portugese, so for us students it was better to spend time at operation rooms – there were 3 at this dep. We were able to see CABG surgeries, valve replacements, and many others. In case there was not place at the OR for us, we could spend time at the ICU, or ward.
Hospital was such a unique place, literally. You can find there a table tennis, stage with dancehall, jewelery, giftshop, shop with medical equipment like stethoscopes, white coats, shoes and many others. We had lunch here in Health bar. Meals were mostly tasty and there was always a vegetarian option too. Everyday we had same specific veggie soup, I already miss it 😀
Special thanks go to students from AEFMUP, who made amazing social program for us. There was possibility for every afternoon to do some activity with other members. We travelled to another cities – Braga, Alveiro, Lisbon. We visited city centre together, had typical Porto meals- Franceshina and Pastel de Nata, wine tasting, sangrias. We visited beaches, joined surf lessons, saw many beautiful parks and castles, spent time at student bars and many many more. Students there were extremely friendly and willing to help with any issue. People I met there made this trip unforgettable. Probably, the only thing I didn´t really enjoy was traveIling to Lisbon for NSP with group of 50 people, because it was difficult with time management and we had to wait for everybody all the time which was very exhausting. However,I recommend this spot 10/10 and I am very thankful to all students from IFMSA, to make this intership possible.