My stay at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was positively challenging and enhanced me massively intellectually. I was attracted to Oral and Maxillofacial surgery in particular. This elective gave me a perfect opportunity to explore in this area of medicine further and find out career opportunities in this field. It also provided a good chance for me to get an insight of what are expected from the doctors, both by the patients, senior doctors and consultants in this area of medicine. Although I was very keen on the idea of being able to do a “hands-on” elective, rather than a predominantly observing, I realize that being in Year 4 does not give me enough knowledge to attend a patient.
The course which I took at the department gave me the opportunity to observe procedures like frenectomy, retrograde fillings, complicated extraction, biopsies, orthognathic surgeries, and a lot of cancer patients practically rather than clinically, considering my school only offers clinical procedures. I can vividly recall the procedure of Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy which I was able to see practically, these were only notes I study for exams and they left me with an open curious mind. I must admit, the euphoria of seeing a surgical procedure in an operating theater made me want to get a grip of the scalpel. The clinical rounds gave me more to pursue my career as a doctor because I came in contact with patients, follow up on their surgical procedures before and after which was mind-blowing.
Personally, reflecting back on my experience during electives, I learnt to be more flexible and adaptive to the changing situation, as well as always keeping a plan, as things could derail from the original track at any moment. Being the only dental student from my school, it was very awkward and unsettling for me for a few days. But I brace myself and plan what to do in the hospital with the help of the nurses, junior doctors and specialist. Although sometimes I was unable to keep up with the plan, I tried my best to explore my independent capacity.
Overall it was an amazing experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It was challenging but mind opening and I got to explore Scotland during my leisure which made it more adventurous. My special gratitude goes to Dr. Janice who helped me and invited me to her home with open arms.
Name: Aleeysha Edinson
Training Site: University of Aberdeen, UK
Observation Period: 20-8-2018/31-8-2018
Major: Doctor of Dentistry
Expected Year of Graduation: 2019