Going to Italy next month is one of my very unexpected electives. I remember being on the interview trail and getting an email from one of my school’s deans asking if I would like to take one of the six coveted spots for the International Health Elective that my school sponsors in Italy. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to accept, considering I felt that I had already been away from school so much and I already had a block of vacation scheduled after Match Day. I had thought I was going to spend the rest of my time doing radiology as well as medical Spanish. Nevertheless, I decided to take the plunge and bought my ticket soon after my last interview because when would I ever get the opportunity to spend a dedicated month in a foreign country doing both clinical work and becoming more culturally aware?!
I’m excited and nervous at the same time. It’s my first time in Europe and I’m going to get this amazing opportunity to experience health care outside of the United States. During my time in Italy, I will be pursuing a clinical rotation in internal medicine, hopefully geriatrics, cardiology, or infectious diseases. I hope to learn more about the European health care system and how their training system differs from the one in the United States. Although I don’t know any Italian, I think it’d be neat to work up to being somewhat conversational…or at least be able to ask for help or suggestions for food. I will be with several of my classmates as we take on this adventure and explore this beautiful country together.