During our 8 week Elective at Dr. Jeyasekharan Hospital we were exposed to a large range of cases that we rarely get to see back home in New Zealand as well as experience a culture so rich unlike any other in the world. Not only were the cases exciting and interesting we learnt a lot about the Indian ingenuity within the healthcare system required to deal with the uncomparable patient load, the limited health resources and the wide range of disease present in this country. We spent time in Anaesthesiology, Paediatrics and General medicine and saw many interesting cases including: tropical diseases, complications from end stage diseases, sepsis, strokes, MI, post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, many cases of Dengue Fever, Henoch-Scholin purpura, cyanotic heart disease, patent ductus arteriosus and the consequent closure. Many cases were complicated by the costs involved as well as other determinants of healthcare access.
We felt incredibly welcomed and part of the family at Dr. Jeyasekharan Hospital. The staff were very friendly and although there was a language barrier we managed to get by as the majority of doctors and nurses spoke good English. Our evenings and weekends were filled with activities as we were often invited out by the doctors of the hospital. We got to visit nearby cities, go on backwater cruises, stay at beach houses and mountain houses, and eat delicious south Indian cuisine. We can confidently say we got to experience the full authentic Indian culture.
We were put up in a modern apartment across the road from the hospital. The facilities were comfortable as we had our own space as well as a washing machine, water filter, and air conditioning in the bedroom. Food was provided by the hospital and was delicious.
Overall we really enjoyed our time at Dr. Jeyasekharan Hospital and was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people here. It was an academic experience but also a cultural and life experience we will never forget and will always look back on with pleasure and fondness. We would definitely recommend and encourage future elective students to apply here. We would like to thank all the staff that has made our time here so memorable and enjoyable.
Isobel Hawkins & Tiffany Huang
My South Indian Elective – Helen Blackhurst
I travelled to India for my elective at the Jeyasekharan hospital in the summer of 1996. I was studying medicine in the UK at the time (University of Manchester) and this was the furthest from home I had ever been. Although it was nearly 20 years ago I still remember the extremely warm welcome Lindsay (a fellow student) and I were given. We were welcomed into family life, and involved in trips around the area including Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, a trip into the hills on top of a jeep, and memorably a family engagement party. I have fond memories of sitting in the garden eating mangoes and ice cream and trying to learn to speak Tamil!
More importantly, on the medical side, what struck me the most was seeing diseases I’d never come across in the UK. A young boy with diphtheria, a man with tetanus, lots of necrotising fasciitis and end stage diabetes, another young boy who had been run over by a cart and sadly didn’t survive. Many of these memories have stayed with me, particularly when vaccinating patients and now in working in a major trauma centre in the UK as an Emergency Department Consultant.
Shona Duerden and Nicola Stirling are junior doctors in Edinburgh, Scotland. They visited the hospital in 2014 and Shona shares her experiences here:
We visited Jeyasekharan Hospital in August 2014 for 7 weeks as part of our medical degree programme. We chose Jeyasekharan Hospital to undertake our elective period for two main reasons. Firstly, we had contacts who had previously worked at the hospital and remarked on its medical standards and teaching and secondly, because we were keen to visit India and have a new cultural experience. We were immediately embraced into the hospital community and touched by how welcoming everybody was.
Our experience was incredibly worthwhile from both a medical and personal perspective. We were able to experience a different healthcare system and were exposed to a wide variety of medical conditions. Patients and staff alike ensured that we had a rich educational experience whilst at the hospital. The Jeyasekharan family enhanced our wonderful experience and showed immeasurable kindness which extended beyond the workplace. We felt privileged to be welcomed into the family and embraced into the culture. Thank you all very much for such an unforgettable time.
Excerpt taken from The Electives Network
“My time in India was an enjoyable and educational one. I would wholeheartedly recommend this hospital for those wanting to undertake an educational elective whilst also being able to experience Indian culture in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I not only experienced a different form of healthcare but also added to my own knowledge and skills.”
– Stephen Baxter
Clinical Interest: General Surgery