University of Birmingham Medical Elective Student

Magbenteh Community Hospital recently waved goodbye to Madeleine, a fourth year medical student from the University of Birmingham. She shares her experience with us:

“For all medical students in the United Kingdom, the Elective period is a chance to observe in medical practice in a new environment, either at home or abroad. I chose to come to Sierra Leone for my Elective, and I am very glad I did – it has been a highly valuable experience working here at Magbenteh Community Hospital. I have been able to experience first-hand how the doctors, CHOs and nurses work in an environment with fewer resources than hospitals in the UK, and how they work around the challenges presented by these circumstances.

The staff were welcoming from the very start and were all keen to show me how the workings of the hospital proceed from day to day. I talked to many of them in order to gather information for my project on ‘country’ or ‘traditional’ medicine, which has been an eye-opening experience that has taught me a lot about Sierra Leonean culture. My schedule has been varied and interesting, with time spent on the wards and in theatre, as well as in clinic with the CHOs and the doctors. The profile of diseases is different to the UK, with malaria unsurprisingly making up quite a few of the cases, and it has been a very interesting opportunity for me to see these. Thank you for having me, Magbenteh Hospital! I hope I can return in the future.”

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