With August in full swing and another Photo and Blog Contest underway, the team at AMO has reviewed submissions from visitors that rotated during the month of July. While we had many inspiring photos and stories, it was Ana Maria’s submission that we felt gave life to our mission here at AMO. Ana Maria, a medical student from Romania, completed a cardiology rotation with Dr. D at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Chicago, IL during July. Continue reading below to find out why Ana Maria considers this rotation to one of the “best decisions” she has ever made…

Here’s Ana Maria’s Story…

Learning to Care Harder

As a senior year medical student from Bucharest, Romania, I decided to do a rotation in the U.S. before graduating. The goal was to improve my medical thinking and clinical skills in a professional environment. I ended up choosing the cardiology rotation at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Chicago and in retrospect, as I think back on it now, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made regarding my academic training. I will tell you the reasons why this rotation was such a great experience.

First of all, Dr. D. was a great mentor and a good physician. He gave us insight about cardiology and the devotion a doctor should have for both his work and his patients. He taught us how to read ECGs in an organized and efficient manner and gave us opportunities to practice this. We read about 100 ECGs each day during the first 2 weeks. By the last two weeks of the rotation I had more confidence in my ability to read ECGs. It made me happy.

Besides that, we had hands-on interaction with patients. We completed pre-rounds and examined patients from the ICU in addition to, admitted, stable patients. I tried to approach patients in an integrative way, considering the fact that they had a complex pathology entangled with the cardiac disease. I tried to make the most of this rotation, consulting my knowledge both on internal medicine and cardiology. Dr. D. was always willing to provide a good explanation for each question I had, especially those regarding the patients in ICU.

At the end of the rotation, I can say that I gained more confidence in my clinical skills. Additionally, Dr. D. was very friendly and taught us important lessons about what being a doctor means from the standpoint of being personable. He showed us how a thoughtful attitude, full of empathy and kindness, gives him a greater connection to patients. Dr.D. also spoke with us about his ambition to treat the patient with the disease, not just the disease itself. He gave us inspiration and even recommended books about great doctors in cardiology from the past, namely The Heart Healers by James Forester.

Another reason I enjoyed this rotation was because it gave me the chance to work with medical students from the U.S. who were completing their elective rotations. It was great to exchange ideas, make new friendships, and learn in an inviting environment. I also enjoyed having the chance to see how the medical system in the U.S. works. It was impressive to see the professional environment and I liked the attitude medical staff showed towards their patients, which was full of consideration and respect. I also liked how organized and efficient the hospital’s method was for teaching medical students.

Outside of my rotation I got to, discover the diverse city of Chicago. I enjoyed an architecture boat tour a trip to the Willis Tower Skydeck, and even tried deep dish pizza and a real Chicago hot dog. On the fourth of July I saw fireworks at Navy Pier. I got to do all these things with the new friends I met during my rotation. It was an overall great experience for me both personally and academically. It opened up my mind and made me aspire for more.

Each time I was downtown I saw a sign for Saint Anthony’s which had the message – “Be stronger, care harder, love deeper.” This was inspiring for me. It expressed all the passion and devotion for medicine that I have and I was happy to see encouraged during my time in in the U.S.

Are you interested in expanding your medical education, learning about the U.S. healthcare system, and having a fun time during your time abroad? If so, a medical rotation with AMO might be a great option. Click here to sign up on our page and explore opportunities you can apply for today!

For more stories featuring visitors and their rotation with AMO, click here.