This week was core course week, which (you would think) means spending 5 days with my core course (Medical Practice and Policy) and taking a tour of parts of Western Denmark. But really, Core Course Week is apparently a marathon of bus rides, amazing meals, and snegls (popular Danish pastries).
To start off this story right, here’s the star of this post: a beautiful snegl. My first snegl while on study tour was probably a giant mistake on my part-after a guided tour of Odense, the city on the island of Funen of Denmark where fairy-tale author Hans Christian Andersen was born, we were set loose on the city for lunch, and we ended up at a bakery where we bought Snegl #1. Munching on a pastry while exploring the city, which is covered in Hans Christian Andersen landmarks as well as remnants of the viking age (Odense was named after Oden, a Nordic god), was an amazing combination, but if we knew how much snegl we would find the next few days, we probably would have restrained ourselves. We wrapped up day 1 with a visit to an In Vitro Fertilization clinic in Odense and a delicious dinner of gourmet burgers and potatoes at a cafe in the city, and even caught some jazz at a local jazz club before calling it a night.
Day 2 of the Short Study tour brought us to Flensburg, Germany, a city about 15 km from the Danish border that was a Danish city before the events of World War II. While visiting a school for the Danish minority living in Flensburg, which was much more interesting than one would thing, our tour leaders bought us and the students that spoke to us snegl #2. We then had time to explore Germany, which was a prime opportunity because everything was cheaper there-we
hauled plenty of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion home-and the city was beautiful and unique-it was obviously German but there were Danish pieces of culture everywhere and even shoes hanging from lines all over the walking street.
After lunch in Flensborg, we bussed to Sønderborg, Denmark, where we visited a Danish General Practioner’s office and-you guessed it-had snegl #3. Even though we were pretty snegl’d out by that point, talking to the GP’s about their function in the health care system was interesting-in Denmark, every citizen receives a GP that they see only when they’re sick for the entirety of their live, and then the GP refers them to other specialists when needed. The system cuts back on health costs by specialists and allows a GP to know everything about a patient’s history in order to treat then better. We then took a ferry back to Funen, feasted on a huge buffet of chicken, homemade
hummus, tomato bisque, multiple salads, cheeses, bread, apple pie, and fine wine, before passing out of an aggressive food/snegl coma for the night. On a side night, before we caught the ferry, we made a pit stop at Sønderborg Slot, which is more like a manor than a palace, but offered beautiful sunset views of a harbor and quaint town and tons of pictures like this one, featuring some of my core course group.
On day three, we traveled to Svendborg, Denmark and visited the hospital there focused on the telemedicine department, where we somehow managed to shovel down snegl #4. (This one was even better, though, because the Danes call it Viennese Bread-though people in Vienna would call it a Danish-that had a delicious apple cream filling in the middle). We got treated to one more overly-ambitious meal at Valdemar’s Slot on our way home, which was a palace built by King Christian IV for his son and rarely used (and currently owned by a 9 year old boy of noble descent, lucky kid). This time it was almost even too much for me-practically raw veal, creamy chesse soup, a big slab of bacon with salad, marinated carrots, huge chunks of local cheeses and never ending bread-but if we could eat 4 snegls in 3 days, we could deal with veal. And it actually wasn’t that bad.
I planned to end my post here, because I assumed that we would be done with snegls and fancy food and I could stop rubbing in my elegant palette now, but no-this morning, during a lecture about the details of the Danish Health Care System, we had yet another snegl, snegl #5. We have one more day of core course week-who knows maybe there’s even another snegl in my future-but either way, it’s been a great week for Danish pastries and meals and medicine!
*****Not gonna lie, this post is my lame attempt to semi-measure up to Belle’s beautiful Bonaire pictures and scuba diving sagas….I’ll let you decide if my culinary/pastry explorations can complete with the surf and sun in the Caribbean!