Neurology Inpatient elective – UAB, USA – April 2022
As a final medical student with an interest in pursuing neurology, I was extremely excited about the opportunity to do a clinical elective in the same field, at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, USA.
The University of Alabama Birmingham hospital is a tertiary hospital, academic health science center, and the third-largest hospital in the Southern United States. It is a highly reputed institution that specializes in improving patient outcomes through research and clinical care based on current best practices in healthcare.
In my role as a medical student and intern, I spent 4 weeks on the inpatient neurology service. Working alongside the other residents and attendings in the Neurology department, we would do rounds on the patients daily and discuss their clinical cases, progress, and management plans. I encountered a wide range of neurological conditions including but not limited to seizures, strokes, peripheral neuropathies, myelopathies, brain tumors, and pathologies, which didn’t always accompany their classic textbook presentations. It was exciting to learn and present cases to my team as well as perform physical exams and use the EMR system to type notes and monitor the patient’s diagnostic, imaging, and laboratory results. On average there would be around 10 – 20 patients a day on the service, of which I would present a few of them daily and follow up with them for the rest of their stay at the hospital. The residents were incredibly kind, they would teach and guide me whenever they could. I also attended daily resident lectures taught by the neurology attendings at UAB and was allowed to assist with bedside procedures whenever possible. Attached is a photo of a lumbar puncture I assisted with!
Working alongside the UAB residents to gain hands-on experience and practical training during my time at Birmingham has allowed me to improve and strengthen my performance as a student passionate about neurology. I am grateful for the support of my home institution Charles University LFHK, my professors, and the foreign relations department for the opportunity to have been a part of the UAB IVMS program. This has been an invaluable experience to enrich my knowledge, not only currently as a medical student, but also for my future as a practicing doctor.