|Wednesday night dinner with friends|
One could almost say that clinical rotations here in Stockholm are like a continuous holiday weekend...almost. It was a little tough to get through this week since Thanksgiving is an American holiday and I would not be able to spend it with my family and friends. I did take some time to reflect on how thankful I am for all the great people in my life (including all of you faithful blog readers!) and for the opportunities I have had to go to medical school and be able to travel around the world this year meeting new people and broadening my life experiences.
|my hospital on Södermalm|
|my new attire for internal medicine|
My rotation will be split in half with the first two weeks on the Endocrine/Diabetes ward and the second two weeks on the general internal medicine & stroke ward. I don't have to be at the hospital until about 815 every morning and so far this week I have left everyday by 330 - and every Thursday afternoon we have off to do independent study or work on our presentations. Yup, pretty much like a vacation with plenty of breaks for coffee to break up the days.
|Christmas lights in Stockholm|
I learned some new interesting things about Swedish health care this week as well. Patients are entitled to "sick leave" from work and still get 80% of their paycheck while on sick leave. Anyone can take 7 days for personal sick leave but after that, a doctor's note is required. The employer pays for the sick leave for the first 2 weeks then after that, the government pays. At any given time, about 10% of the Swedish workforce is on sick leave - one of the highest rates in Europe (if not the world...) Patients who need to have extra nursing help at home that are ready to be discharged from the hospital can be "discharged" but stay at the hospital until the government arranges this home help. The government has 5 days to make the arrangements and if the patient is still in the hospital at that time, the government pays for the hospital stay until suitable arrangements are made for the patient.
The only day that ended a little differently was today. This afternoon my mentor had a meeting so I spent my post-lunch in the medicine wing of the emergency department. Emergency medicine is not a well-developed field in Sweden and is not even really a specialty here at this point. The department is separated into a surgical ward and a medical ward which are staffed by either surgeons, internists, general practitioners, interns, or the post-medical school working junior doctors. This may be why every patient who comes to the emergency department gets labs drawn including a CBC, electrolyte panel, INR, and CRP no matter what the presenting complaint is. Seems like a waste of money and resources to me, but apparently they deem it worthwhile for its efficiency. The emergency department at Södersjukhuset is the busiest in northern Europe and on a Friday afternoon, this was readily apparent. Patients who were just being observed for a few hours had their beds lining the hallways. There are only a few "rooms" with intensive monitoring and several rooms down long hallways far away from the nearest nursing station. It is chaotic but full of variety and lots of opportunities for learning! I hope to spend some more time down there before I finish my rotation in internal medicine since I am definitely interested in Emergency Medicine.
|Café Opera in Stockholm|