Milan Terzic – University of Belgrade (Serbia)
MEDI 407 – Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
UNC has been a very memorable and educational experience. As many students know before applying to UNC, it is a respected institution in the US. Personally, I chose UNC due to my interest in Gastroenterology and Hepatology, knowing that the institution houses world renowned physicians in the field. I was eager to learn from them to keep adding to my ever-growing knowledge base.
The first couple of days were difficult, predominantly due to navigating through the halls and corridors of the multiple hospitals. This was definitely time consuming at first although all medical staff were always willing to help give directions, which ties into UNC’s helpful atmosphere. Adapting to the American medical system is something future student should be prepared for. The disparity will be evident in the first couple of days, and this is something all students should be prepared for. In addition to this never hesitate to ask if uncertain. Learning should be the number one priority.
The Gastroenterology and Hepatology elective itself was quite the experience. The attendings and fellows always had time for questions, regardless of their incredibly busy schedules, and are encouraging you to take on more responsibilities as a medical student. This includes seeing multiple patients, evaluating them and forming a plan. In addition to the patient exposure, students are encouraged to prepare seminars on important topics of interest, as well as digging through the primary literature for difficult cases – something very often seen at UNC.
Noting all of this, UNC has been a delightful and worthy experience for the last month. I’m very happy to have been involved in the elective itself and be an important member in the management of patients. I cannot be more thankful to all the staff which made every day a pleasure. UNC has taught me very important things that will aid to the development of becoming a great physician. Some of these pearls include being more detail oriented, confident, and learning to categorize multiple problems into basic groups. Make the best of it!