RRHIME Elective Experience in Nazareth, Israel

"The hospital is a small district general hospital which has surgery, general medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and psychiatry. It serves a proportion of the population of Nazareth and the surrounding villages. It runs a volunteer program for people to help out in various departments with the day to day running of the hospital, so there are other western volunteers around the hospital."

Sea of Galilee

Non-Curricular Activities

"It is well situated to visit other cities such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and to visit the Sea of Galilee.

I encountered no difficulties as such. I could have made more of an effort to learn Arabic before going, but the staff spoke very good English and were happy to translate for me."

Clinical Experience

"I spent most of my time in Neonatology where there were very similar problems to those seen in UK, but also some that I haven't seen here. Diseases seen included pentalogy of Fallot, macrosomia and neonatal sepsis. The one case that stood out was a newborn who had pentalogy of Fallot:I had never seen such an extreme case of cardiac abnormalities, and apparently neither had the staff. It was decided quite soon after delivery that he should be transferred to a larger, specialist hospital for further assessment and treatment of the cardiac defects.

The other unusual treatment was after surgical management of developmental dysplasia of the hip where the child was placed in a traction device to keep their hips abducted and extended using two bags of saline solution. I haven't seen this management in the UK, however this is standard practice in Israel."

Children's hospital

Highlights of the Experience

"I really benefited from the teaching that was given on the ward rounds and the opportunity to get so involved with the treatment of the children over there. I also enjoyed being with other western volunteers, and have definitely made some life long friends both with the volunteers and the locals I met. I think the wholoe experience taught me how to rely more on the clinical picture as opposed to tests and investigations. They had limited access to radiology and specialist blood tests, so relied more on their history and examinations. It was really good to see simple diagnoses and treatments, and reassuring that they have the same illnesses over there as we do here. I did notice some differences in treatments, but this only made me more interested in learning why they did it differently to practices in the UK. "