The Studying Part of Study Abroad


(That’s my semi-serious effort to make this post a letter to Belle…once upon a time that was our plan for this blog, but then that just didn’t happen. Here’s the effort though.)

After reading Belle’s last post about her research and studies, I figured I should spend at least one post talking about my class experiences, even if they aren’t quite as unique and tropical as hers.

My core course here is Medical Practice & Policy, which meets twice a week in Glostrup Hospital about 45 minutes out of Copenhagen’s city center. It’s taught by 3 medical professionals-two MDs/PhD candidates in the field of neurology are my teachers, and one medical student from the University of Copenhagen is our student teacher. The class is meant to give us an overview of the organ systems in the body, the common diseases that affect them, and how to diagnose/treat these diseases. It’s not a med school level course by any stretch of the matter, but it’s much more in depth than anything I’ve experienced in America so far, so I’m really enjoying the opportunity. MPPsocial

Moreover, we spend the most time with our core class than with any other course here. Besides seeing them in class, we already spent a week together traveling in Denmark for core course week (see this post for the thrilling details), and at the end of March we’ll spend a week in Vienna, Austria, and Budapest, Hungary for the class as well-not to mention traveling to Prague together at the end of the travel break-apparently those who learn together, travel together! (On the right are some of the people I’ll be traveling with at an MPP social put on by DIS!)

And frankly, no wonder we spend so much time together, when so much of our class is based off of hand on experience. Song and Nanna (my doctors/teachers) have us do a lot of practice physical exams on each other after we learn about a new organ system, so knowing each other from traveling really comes in handy. Although, our very first class where we forced one of the two guys in our class to ‘volunteer’ to have his abdomen palpated by the other guy was incredibly entertaining to watch. Now we’re able to do exams on each other without being completely awkward (s/o to Collin and Jamie for practically blinding me while checking for pupil reflexes during our last neurology class), and it’s a good work up to the point where we’ll have to be at by the end of the semester-Song wants us to practice inserting IVs and drawing blood from each other after we learn the process in phantom clinics, so it’s a good thing that I trust these guys before letting them shove needles in my veins. Talk about a trust exercise.

2014-02-19 14.34.03Outside of MPP, I’m taking 5 other classes-Danish Language and Culture, Medical Ethics, Medical Anthropology, 20th Century European History, and Impressionism in Paris. If I start talking about the Impressionism class, this post will never end and then Belle will yell at me, so I’ll save that until after our seemingly-perfect long weekend in Paris to vent. My other classes are going well, and 2014-02-19 14.39.56although there isn’t as much to share, I did get to go to the Medical Museum of Copenhagen with my anthropology class this past Wednesday. I met my new best friend there (on the left-sorry it’s a bit graphic!), who was a murderer in 19th century Copenhagen before being sentenced to death and donated to the Royal Academy of Surgery in CPH, and got a taste of some true Danish humor. We’re still not sure if the pill packages below were truly sold in Denmark or if it’s an art/humor piece that applies to medicine so it was in the museum, but either way, some of them were hilarious.

2014-02-19 14.40.292014-02-19 14.39.24

Now that you got your daily laugh/ what the hell are the Danish thinking? moment, I’m off to finish Frozen and study for our first MPP test on Tuesday. Good combination, right?

(If you were wondering, the featured image at the top of the post is also from the medical museum-it’s a small fraction of the disks needed to completely gene map a human being-in this case, being used for obesity research/linking familial obesity to a certain gene. Pretty cool concept/even cooler art!)


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