Outgoing Stories | New Life Experience in Czech Republic

“It’s a life experience”, Said my friend who had her exchange program before I went for mine. I was wondering how my 1-month experience could be a life experience, but now I realized the reason why.

My name is Angelreika Libowo, a member of CIMSA FK UNPAD batch 2017. Last August, I had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program at The Urology Department of University Hospital Vinohrady, Czech Republic.

Since being a medical student, I’ve always been interested in Urology. I am curious about how a kidney stone looks like and how it was treated. So, being accepted in this department is like a dream comes true for me!

I’m very grateful to have my clerkship there. The doctors are all very nice. Even the Head of the Urology Department often asked me how my day went, or asked if I did something fun. The doctors let me assist them in several surgeries, which was such a nice experience for me.

The Local Committee held some events, including National Food & Drink Party (NFDP), along  Case Report Conference. The NFDP was very memorable. My friends and I cooked Nasi goreng – a true definition of Indonesian food – because we often consume it as an Indonesian ourselves. I tasted 15+ types of food from other countries. I remember that I was feeling very full during the night after NFPD. Then, it was followed by the Case Report Conference, where we had to tell the others about the most interesting case we found at the hospital. We got to hear a lot of interesting cases from another department. At that time, the case that I shared during the conference was:

A 28-year-old man presented to the hospital with chief complaint of warts on his genital area. He was sent to the Urology Department. From the history-taking, he said that it was painless. The doctor performs the physical examination and found: 2 warts on his penis (2mm and 5mm), 1 wart on his crotch, (3mm) and there are some diffuse warts on his upper pubic area. The warts were hyperpigmented and protruded from the skin. They want to check if it was a malignancy or not. After examined by the doctor, the doctor confirmed that is was not a tumor or any malignancy. The patient agrees to do the surgery to remove warts that were on his penis.

One thing that I considered interesting about the case was when the urologist was debating if the surgery should be done by the urologist or the plastic surgeon. There reasons are:

  1. The patient is still young and the appearance of the penis is important. Usually, Urologist patients are the elderly and how this curative treatment affects the appearance on their genital organ doesn’t matter to them.
  2. The warts are not a malignancy and it doesn’t cause any harm to the patient. That’s why the urgency for the Urologist to do the surgery is not that high.

In the end, the surgery is done by the urologist with local anesthesia.

Besides the clerkship at the hospital, I got to meet the other incomings from all around the world. There are several times when we had some difficulties to deliver what we had in our minds, but thanks to our body language and google translate we got through it!

Meeting them taught me a lot about the health & education system in every country, especially from the perspective of medical students. Also, since the other incomings liked to describe their country with a map, I got to learn about geography too!

Another thing you must not forget about the IFMSA exchange program is its social program. Czech Republic NC held a national social program. So, as I had my exchange in Prague, I got to meet the other incomings from different cities. We decided to camp in South Moravia. For meal, I cooked sausage with a stick from a tree above the campfire. It was new to me, but It was really fun! We also explored the Lednice Castle with a tour guide who explained everything to us. I’m really happy about that!

After I went home, I experienced jet lag for 2 weeks but don’t worry, I’m feeling better now! So, if you want to encounter a life-experience in 1 month, I highly recommend you to join the IFMSA exchange program. You won’t regret it, trust me!