Category Archives: Turkey 2014

More on our Istanbul adventure :)

Hello! So many great things have happened in the last couple of weeks. Last week we had a delicious lunch at a beautiful historical building at the University of Istanbul with Associate Dean Dr. Fatis Altindas. It was very exciting to hear from the Dean that the students are really enjoying the course. Some other highlights of our lunch included the delicious dessert and Turkish coffee reading by one of our new friends.

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Once back at Cerrahpasa, we prepared for our next challenge. The students’ positive feedback made some residents and attendings interested in our course, so we prepared a four-hour intensive course. While we only expected a dozen participants, we had an amazing turn out of 35. Not only did we get to meet so many individuals from the Cerrahpasa medical team, but we also got invited to shadow at their ICU!

This week we had the second session with a new group of Cerrahpasa medical students. It was very rewarding to see them learn so much in just a few days. Even though our team members started getting sick one by one, we had a very successful session. We will probably not miss walking every morning carrying the machines up that hill, but we will miss our students and the incredible hospitality of everyone at Cerrahpasa.

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Reporting from Istanbul,

Ale Piña


Getting Ready for Session Number 2

This past week we took advantage of a few extra hours off to master a few of our favorite places like Taksim and Eminonu. The excitement and enthusiasm from our students in the first session spread and we caught the attention of the residents, attendings and associate dean! They came for an accelerated session this past Thursday. Despite us planning for about 10 doctors to show up, we ended up scrambling to teach 35 doctors with 3 machines everything we know within 3 hours. There will be more on that later this week as we gather our pictures!


I’ve included some pictures of our furry chaperones we’ve named: “Dog,” “Friend,” and “Loud” in Turkish. I think our names for them are spreading around the neighborhood as they follow us every where. As you can see, the cats and dogs have made the library their home as it has become ours.

I had my first steps in Asia when we crossed the Bosphorus to devour the delicious mountains that have a waffle hidden somewhere within. Luckily we ran into one of our students to show us how to make (and eat) them the right way.

The first day of our second session went as smooth as it could have and we are happy to get to know an entire new batch of students.

Until next time,


One week down in Istanbul :)


We finished our first week at Cerrahpasa University School of Medicine in Istanbul. It was such a great week!! We taught around 60 medical students cardiac, GI, pulmonary and FAST ultrasound exams.

Cerrahpasa students are really smart students and pick things up very quickly. In the end, when we compare the test results before and after our teaching, it is awesome to see that students learnt a lot, which means IMG_5591 IMG_5596 IMG_5647 IMG_5555 IMG_5606 IMG_5558 IMG_5549 IMG_5572 IMG_5645

that we did a great job. Also, we were so happy to hear from the students that they really love the program and want us to come back.

Now this week, in addition to teaching students extra ultrasound sessions, we have another challenge to overcome. We are going to teach ultrasound to the anesthesiology residents, attendings and associate deans. We are aware that this is a harder task but we know that we can do it!!

Besides the academic stuff, we are also having a lot of fun in istanbul. We went to all of the historical places like Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Basilica cistern on the weekend as well as did the Bosphorus tour. Last night, we went to Eminonu and ate famous fish and bread with a gorgeous Bosphorus view, and then ate world-famous Turkish baklava.

So, life is awesome here in Istanbul for us!! Stay tuned for our next adventures!!!





Our Night Out in Town :)

imageimageimageYesterday was our most fun day yet in Turkey! After working hard teaching from 8 to 5, we went to Taksim Square for dinner. Taksim Square is one of the major tourist attraction sites in the European part of Istanbul and is filled with restaurants, shops, and hotels and has the Monument of the Republic. We had delicious  traditional Turkish dinner and dessert at Mado restaurant, where I discovered my new favorite dish: yoghurt kebab. Yummmm! We are definitely going back!

Cool Poster

Look at this poster advertising what we are doing here!




Our First Day!

Today was a huge success!

Our entire team has been together in Turkey for just over 24 hours and we have already finished our first day of teaching.  There were a few hiccups, but they have all been dealt with smoothly and efficiently by both our team, and our Turkish hosts from the University of Istanbul.

As great as teaching is, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned.  I can now speak about 6 Turkish words (although I can’t spell any yet), eaten traditional Turkish foods and breakfasts, and have already met with a doctor from the OB/GYN department associated with the school who has volunteered to allow me to learn from him and shadow him when we have time.

I can tell this is the start of something great.


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Checking Out Our Classrooms

Figuring out how to play podcasts on the projector in one of the classrooms we're using.

Figuring out how to play podcasts on the projector in one of the classrooms we’re using.

We got access to the school’s facilities the day before our classes started. It was great being able to tour the school and the surrounding areas in Istanbul briefly. It was a nice break from dealing with some problems with our housing situation. (Five girls sharing one not so functional bathroom doesn’t usually equate with smooth sailing) But at the end of the day, we all went out to eat a delicious dinner! All in all, a successful day.

Turkey 2014 – Meet the Team

Follow our journeys here:

Meet our team:

  • Ismail
  • Taylaur
  • Mukti
  • Saema
  • Jasmin
  • Sylvia
  • John