My clinical elective in Kansas City by Rgd9zu


									Lisa Breyner               Clinical Elective (Fächergruppe 3)
0433349                    UMKC – EMERGENCY PSYCHIATRY, Kansas City

My clinical elective in Kansas City

Last summer I had the amazing opportunity of spending a four week elective
program at the "Emergency Psychiatry" Department in Kansas City. It was definitely
one of the best placements I’ve ever had.
Since I have family in Kansas City, I was able to stay with them and therefore I can’t
say anything about the apartments that are offered to students from abroad by the
The morning of the day my placement started, I met with Jacqueline Ware-Sod, a
very nice secretary I had been in touch with before I went to the States. She
explained everything about my placement to me and showed me around the hospital
grounds. I got an account for the computer, an ID and lots of warm and welcoming
encouraging words. Around noon, I was welcomed by the Head of the Psychiatry
Department, who seemed very excited about having a European Med Student in his
program. He showed me around the department and introduced me to my
supervisors, Dr. Padma Krishnamurthi from India and Dr. Usama Mabrouk from
Egypt, who are in charge of the Emergency Psychiatry.
Right away I was impressed with how multi-cultural the staff was, and it made it very
easy for me to fit right in. But something else caught my eye: the security. I had never
been in a hospital with metal detectors and armed security before. It was very
exciting. After receiving another ID badge that got me through security, I started
work. Since Kansas City is known for its high percentage of drug abusers, the cases
we got were mainly drug related. It was my first elective with Psychiatry and I enjoyed
it very much. The patients´ cases were very interesting and there were lectures I
could attend twice a week. I was very involved in the daily routines and soon became
part of the team.
The staff was friendly and very helpful and I got along great with doctors, nurses and
security. I learned a lot about psychiatric patients and how to deal with them.
Every morning I started work at around 7:30 in the morning and stayed till 3:30 p.m.. I
pretty much had the same tasks as the residents – talking to new patients and, with
my supervisors´ consent, deciding whether to keep them as inpatients of the
Lisa Breyner                 Clinical Elective (Fächergruppe 3)
0433349                      UMKC – EMERGENCY PSYCHIATRY, Kansas City
psychiatric ward, move them to a different department, send them to a half-way
house, find them social workers to support them or just release them and – if
necessary – find the right medication for their treatment. For me, the elective was
very interesting and rewarding. I learned a lot about psychiatric diseases, especially
drug-related ones, and met some very “special” people. (On my first day at the
Emergency Psychiatry Department, I met a patient in the hallway. She stared at me
and then said: “God told me he doesn´t like your haircut!” – I kept the haircut!)
Also, Kansas City is an amazing city with lots of great events. I got to see my first
Major League Baseball Game, a Michael Bublèe concert, a musical and a couple of
I would definitely recommend this elective to everybody who loves combining
studying with travelling and getting to know new people.
On that account, I would like to thank the people in charge of elective programs
abroad (especially Christina Schönbacher). Thank you very much for making this trip
possible!  If I could, I would do it again this year!!!!

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