Observership | Time flies when you are having fun….

A room of 34 clinical placements from Zhejiang beamed with pride ready to present their 12-week experience on the Observership Programme at the Royal Free Hospital to a group of Consultants, Royal Free Staff members and the Sinolink team. As well as receiving certificates for completion of the 12-week Clinical Observership and Primary Care Programme.

There journey began at London Heathrow airport, for some Observers, this was there first time away from their families and country for a prolonged period. For some, they were the first doctors in their hospital to be sent on the Observership Programme. Nervous and unsure of what to expect, the team embarked on their journey.

Specialising in almost all clinical areas, including: Anaesthesiology, Orthopaedics, Cardiology, Haematology Medical Oncology, the observers were paired with lead UK consultants in their field. Upon arrival at the Royal Free Hospital their first impression was; the diseases are similar, but the system is very different. Some differences included: -

  • In China, hospitals are crowed compared to the UK

  • Doctors and patients in the UK come from different ethnicity backgrounds. In China both doctors and patients are predominantly Chinese

  • The doctors in China, see 40 – 60 patients within 4 hours, giving each patient 4 – 6 min of their time. In the UK, 10 – 12 patients are seen within 4 hours, with 15 – 30min slots each

  • Doctors in China are more prone to attacks from patients

  • Literature and posters can be found around the hospitals in the UK, where as in China there is not

Experiencing the NHS first hand, through participation, several areas where observed how different clinical approaches are undertaken such as the doctor and patient relationship. The team of observers, gained a wealth of knowledge. Learning innovative ways to treat patients, how best to operate their practices, modern technology and medicines that can be adopted in their hospitals.

LIN Jing, from Ningbo Women and Children’s hospital, was astounded by the long hours the nurses work. One of her memorable moments, was when she asked a nurse, don’t you feel tried working such long hours? To which the nurse responded, “There is nothing worse than thinking your job is a burden, my job is to do the best I can, with the patient in mind always”.

As their journey comes to an end, the resounding feeling echoed in the room,

“we started off as strangers, but leave as family”

They worked hard and played harder, experiencing diverse cultures, they got to converse with English people, developing their English narrative. Visited tourist attractions, whilst travelling to Bristol, Scotland and Ireland too. Some learnt how to cook for the first time.

Honored, humbled and grateful, they all agree, this has been an experience they will never forget.

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