On our last day of the trip, we decided to get in some more sightseeing in Bucharest. We started with a visit to The Human Body Expo, after which we dropped off Priscilla at the airport. It was very interesting not only to see the exhibit in another country, but also to go through the various galleries after completing anatomy. The guides in the museum were second year medical students from the Faculty of Medicine in Bucharest. We got more insight on the medical education system in the country and it was good to see the regional differences between medical institutions.
In the afternoon, the team went to the Village Museum, which has a collection of over 200 traditional houses and farms from all over Romania. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to see how homes evolved throughout the centuries and how peasants have lived in the country.
After that, we visited Bucharest’s historic Bellu cemetery, in which Romania’s prominent poets, writers, politicians, doctors, and other personalities have been buried since 1858. Each profession has its own “neighborhood” and we saw a number of physicians and scientists who had made medical breakthroughs. Nicolae Paulescu was a physiologist who contributed to the discovery of insulin and has a very elaborate gravestone.
The team wanted to buy some delicious traditional cheese to bring back with them, so we went to a local store and got plenty of it, plus some snacks for the trip back. We arranged for airport pickup for everyone and will meet again back in the states to debrief and work on the presentation to the school.
This trip has been an incredible opportunity for all of us. We are grateful to the Joint Opportunities in New Universal Health Technologies Scholarships for making this trip possible. We would like to thank Dr. Maguire for his unwavering support from the beginning of the project to its completion. We also extend a warm thanks to Dr. Fox for his incredible patience throughout the process and willingness to help us hone our ultrasound skills even after a 12 hour shift in the ED. His commitment to us has been amazing. We also want to acknowledge Samantha Constantini who helped to train us on several ultrasound modules before our trip. And of course, a special thank you to my teammates who have carried the project through beautifully.
During the trip, we have strengthened our ultrasound skills, improved our teaching ability, and met some wonderful colleagues in medicine. We have learned what it takes to plant the seed of collaboration between universities. There are incredible opportunities for the two medical schools to work together to improve clinical and public health. Working in an international setting provides its own set of opportunities and challenges. Our experience during the past week has shown us that there are dedicated people on both sides who wish to improve the medical education system, though there is a tremendous amount of effort that is needed to accomplish that.
The medical students at The Faculty of Medicine in Transilvania are very bright and were extremely receptive to our ultrasound teaching program. The administration really cares about the students and the professors really make an effort to provide the best possible education with existing resources. We would love to see a long term relationship between the two universities flourish and will do our best to help facilitate that process.