The mnemonic “To Zanzibar By Motor Car” is traditionally used to remember the five main branches of the facial nerve (CNVII):
So we went on a weekend to Hoi An & Denang, mainly to get cheap tailored suits at the former. It was pretty interesting seeing a whole town (Hoi An) essentially dedicated to tourists - every 2 out of 3 houses was some sort of shop and almost 3/4 of shops were tailors.
Anyway, in terms of the medical elective, I’m now in the cardiothoracic surgery department. However, there’s been some heavy rains and consequent flooding here so many of the operations have been delayed but I have managed to see a few repairs of congenital heart diseases including a tetralogy of Fallot! :)
We got a few coma cases today that needed to be taken to the resus room. It was pretty scary hearing one of the sort of gargle and think it was a death rattle. But luckily the patient pulled through and was stabilised. When I think of ED, I think of a lot of cases of patients that die there but in the time I have been at Hue central hospital’s ED, I don’t think any patient has died.
I’m continuing to make friends with more of the Vietnamese medical students and am able to remember some of their names. We are taking the day off tomorrow and travelling to Hoi An/Danang where one of the students is going to show us around.
In the time I have spent in Vietnam, I have variously been mistaken as Japanese, Korean, Chinese and local Vietnamese. Some of the doctors in the ED even shouted out “Ohaiyo!” to me as I walked past.
As for the medical part of day, as always, the cases that come into the ED are interesting. But I’m wary of posting too much information about the patients/cases because of patient confidentiality. Suffice it to say I’ve seen common infections and trauma to various psychoses. I think I’ll come to ED every evening of my elective. :)
So not much happened today. I scrubbed in to see a operation which as far as I could tell was an orthopaedic exploratory endoscopic surgery of the knee. However, it was delayed and put off a few days because the optic cables weren’t working properly. I spent the evening in ED again.
For some reason, I had expected the standard of medicine in Vietnam to be slightly lower than that back home. But that is not the case - the knowledge of medicine is probably exactly the same. The only differences are in the techniques/equipments & attention to hygiene and infection control. It’s nice to see signs and symptoms and diseases that we’ve learnt about - just to get confirmation that what we’re learning in Australia is relevant and applicable universally.
First day on elective was amazing. I chose to be attached to the ED - the same that I was examined in yesterday. Anyway, it’s a pretty quiet place during the day but we turned up later around 7pm and there were a lot more people. We saw quite a lot of trauma incidents and a few cardiopulmonary emergencies as well. The doctors in ED don’t talk to us much for some reason but the Vietnamese medical students are extremely friendly and are happy to try to translate what’s going on for us. With the help of translators on our smartphones, the language barrier is almost gone. I think that the rest of this elective will be quite amazing. After a week or two in ED, I’m hoping to get into the neurosurgery department which is what I potentially want to end up doing.