University College London 2024

Medical, The Philippines Iloilo

Ana, a medical student from University College London, spent six weeks in Iloilo in The Philippines for her overseas placement.

I undertook an overseas placement to see and understand how medicine was practised outside the UK. I wanted to see how different cultures and resource limitations impacted healthcare.

Work the World made it easy for me to undertake a trip like this because everything was already organised for me. I was shown how to get to placement every day and introduced to the hospital staff.

Organising my placement with Work the World also made it really straightforward to move between different hospitals and experience different departments during my time overseas.

During my time in the surgery department, a 22-year-old male patient underwent open heart surgery to remove an atrial myxoma, which is super rare! This was the first time I had seen open heart surgery, and we were able to take turns observing. It was a fascinating experience.

Another memorable case during my time in surgery was a male patient who underwent brain surgery to remove a glioblastoma.

In obstetrics and gynaecology, I observed a mix of natural and caesarean births, which was also a highlight of my time in the hospital.

The Work the World house in Iloilo was massive, with many places to chill out and lots of people to talk to. Everyone was so friendly and interesting – I planned to keep in touch with everyone!

There were so many differences between the local healthcare system and that of the healthcare system back home. Firstly, there was an incredible lack of resources in the hospital. Aseptic techniques were absent at times, and the facilities available to the staff were very worn down.

During the evenings after placement, my housemates and I would go to the swimming pool nearby, go to karaoke, and enjoy the BBQ nights at the house organised by the Work the World team.

The weekends were for travelling! During my six weeks overseas, I visited Boracay, Cebu, El Nido, Siargao, and even South Korea.

I would 100% recommend Work the World. It made life so much easier and provided me with such incredible opportunities.

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