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12th semester students of American MD Program of Tbilisi State Medical University has been invited to attend clinical rotations at Emory University School of Medicine in the United States.
From December 2019 to the end of March 2020, Sophio Gogia, Nikoloz Karazanashvili, Nika Tavberidze, Danielle Foster, Teona Pirtskhalava and Tamar Papidze successfully underwent clinical rotations at Emory University Clinics before the state of emergency was declared in the United States due to COVID-19.
Sophio Gogia: `I went to Emory University School of Medicine to undergo two clinical rotations from December 23, 2019 to March 7, 2020. My first rotation was Nephrology. I worked with Dialysis team. As a student, I dealt with routine electrolyte disorders, acute kidney injury, inpatient management of CKD and glomerulopathies. Each day I had a new patient which I followed until their discharge. Each Tuesday I attended 2 hour lectures in renal pathology. Approximately 3 times per week I did unofficial presentations to my attending on the topic that I found interesting in Nephrology. During my rotation I was able to broaden my knowledge about different dialysis modalities, including CRT and was able to examine urine with the renal attending and other members of consult team.
My second rotation was Hematology. I was a part of Benign Hematology consult team. Each week, I had to attend Benign and Malignant Hematology Conferences . We had Grand Rounds each Wednesday with invited speakers from other Universities or Hospitals. During my rotation I had 3 teaching sessions with Dr. Gaddh and hematology fellow. During my last Benign Hematology Conference I presented an interesting case that I had during the rotation with further discussion of hematological pathology.’
It is worth noting, that students attendance and participations in weekly conferences organized by the department, clinic, or university is a very important component of the clerkship program at Emory University School of Medicine.
During the two months, from December 30, 2019 until March 8, 2020, Nikoloz Karazanashvili visited Emory University School of Medicine too. He underwent clinical rotation in General Neurology at Midtown Emory University Hospital, and Neuro - ICU rotation at Grady Memorial Hospital.
The student of American MD Program of TSMU along with a supervising physician and other medical staff visited patients and presented treatment plans. In addition, he attended lectures with residents of Emory University School of Medicine, where he had the opportunity to meet with doctors from various departments. During the meetings with the residents he discussed various nervous system pathologies.
Nikoloz Karazanashvili: ` During my inpatient rotations I've assisted in performing lumbar punctures multiple times and I also had a chance to participate in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. I've attended multiple thrombectomies and learned a lot about selection criteria, benefits and complications of the procedure… Overall, I feel like this was a very valuable experience as I actually had a chance to get accustomed to the medical system in the US, now I feel more prepared for the intern year`.
Nika Tavberidze, the student of the 12th semester of American visited Emory University from January 6, 2020 until February 28, 2020. To undergo the clinical rotation in US was a good opportunity for him to gain relevant knowledge in medical pathology and oncology. Nika intends to become a pathologist in the future. The student of US MD Program also gained Oncology experience in the close setting to Pathology. This kind of experience turned out to be the biggest challenge for Nika.
Nika Tavberidze: ` All my expectations of what this rotation would have been, were surpassed momentarily. I attended nearly all the fields of Medial pathology that were provided by Emory University Clinic and Grady Memorial Hospital; including GI, GU, Hemato -, Breast, Surgical, Neuro-, Thoracic, Gross pathologies, Cytology, Laboratory and molecular science and Transfusional medicine departments. Additionally, twice a week there were special lectures provided (Usually about new findings and interesting cases in pathology) and on Wednesdays, I was allowed to attend the department conferences. Everyone in the department was extremely helpful and kind towards me. Program coordinator, Dr. Neill even helped me to manage my schedule in such a way that I could attend additional classes in Hematopathology (the field of my interest.) and GU pathology (another field of my interest.). With additional free times, I shadowed residents, who taught me practical skills such as - Grossing specimens, making frozen slides and staining them. However, all of those skills will be benefit me in my upcoming career, the most impressive practical skill I learned should be, how to gross the Brain. I was lucky enough during neuropathology to have opportunity to Gross brain tissue (under the supervision of Attending and Fellow physicians of course.) Another rotation I have attended was Oncology. Soon after the attending and the fellow found out about my interest in pathology they offered me to follow the specimens (usually biopsies) in the Pathology department and report the first impressions on the Specimens to them. I was more than happy to do this. The 4 weeks of oncology rotations became a challenge for me because I was doing oncology and pathology at the same time. I think my attending and fellow did understand the huge amount of work that was imposed on me, so they always help me with the patient management and treatment plans. In conclusion, during the Oncology rotation I gained, what I think is the most important skill that physicians need to muster - being able to practice medicine in the fast-changing world and still manage to stay updated. To have compassion towards the patients, but at the same time to respect their autonomy; And the realization that successful oncology is a very hard discipline that involves the teamwork of many different departments all dedicated towards the patient beneficence’.
Another direction in which Nika Tavberidze got exparience was Palliative care. He met with the patients and their family members with the supervision of Dr. Grand. In parallel with clinical teaching in oncology, the experience gained in the field of palliative care has proved to be an additional extraordinary opportunity for the student of American MD Program of TSMU.