What our Students Say
Clinical attachments at Sheba Medical Center have been busy, exciting and very hands-on. The sheer scale of everything at Sheba was a little overwhelming at first (with over 150 acres to navigate!) but there was an undeniable buzz at the prospect of being part of such a bustling and state-of-the-art hospital.
As medical students, we are the most junior staff members in our respective departments; however, the strong and long-standing teaching culture has meant that we have been encouraged every single day to participate, clerk patients, scrub in, ask questions and use our initiative to make the most of our experience here. We spend much of our time day-to-day with the busy department residents. This has given us our first real taste for what it will be like for us on the wards, in the not too distant future, as newly qualified doctors. We are seeing the reality of managing complex cases that don’t match the textbooks and the demands placed on doctors, not only to be constantly updated in their knowledge, but also to be impeccable communicators, strong team players and solid decision makers. We’re building on the foundation of the last two years, gaining an appreciation for what it takes to deliver first-rate patient care and acquiring skills that can’t be learnt in the classroom.
All of this, set against the backdrop of an amazing city like Tel Aviv, promises that the two years here are sure to keep us stimulated, challenged, engaged and entertained.
I was unsure of what to expect from America’s third largest city when I arrived in late summer. Chicago’s vibrant diversity of art, culture, culinary, and music communities has been a source of excitement and at times overwhelming, but the open and warm nature of the people in the Midwest has quickly made Chicago feel like home.
Studying as a medical student at the Swedish Covenant Hospital affords ample opportunity to gain exceptional knowledge and skills under the mentorship and guidance of exemplary physicians throughout a diverse range of specialties. In our rotations at Swedish Covenant, we were quickly integrated into our departments with friendly staff who have shared their expertise and excitement to have us on board for the two years to come. We have had the chance to observe our mentors apply great skill in patient management and excellent bedside manner to communicate the course of patient treatment.
The programme allows for the exchange of knowledge from attending physicians and residents as well as intercollegiate discussion and learning as a team between students from other academic institutions. There is a focus on the importance of hands-on participation and team contribution in patient care. Our preceptors involve us in cases that build our knowledge and confidence, and encourage us to clerk patients on the wards, scrub in as surgical assistants, research the best way to manage a complex patient presentation or jump in to practice suturing while closing a laceration in the ER.
Opportunities to challenge yourself come on a daily basis, not only to enhance your education, but also to experience the responsibility of a patient’s health and well-being, as it will be in the not too distance future for us.
Based on the foundation of our skills and knowledge acquired through the St George’s programme, we are asked to go beyond textbook knowledge and expand our comfort zones as we adapt to the unique presentation of every new case.
I look forward to the opportunities Swedish Covenant Hospital provides, as well as the ability to take in the vibrant culture and beautiful lakefront landscape Chicago has to offer.
I was familiar with Sheba Medical Center from my previous studies and therefore knew exactly what to expect. I was very excited to be at Sheba again, to gain hands-on experience at a world-renowned hospital and get excellent teaching from Sheba’s physicians.
Throughout our attachments, I felt that every single staff member was truly dedicated to our teaching and practicing our clinical skills. During our clinical rotations so far, we were given daily lectures on evidence-based data and the latest research as well as diagnostic decision-making and treatment protocols, adjusted to our learning objectives and the UK guidelines.
We were taught by the senior physicians of the ward, by the on-call trainee doctors and by other clinical staff, and each and every one was welcoming and tried to expose us to as much practice as was possible.
As Sheba is affiliated with different medical programs from around the world, it was not uncommon to encounter international medical students from the US, Germany and other European countries, which made my experience even more cosmopolitan and diverse. Sheba is a tertiary referral hospital and as such we were given the opportunity to get exposure to some of the most specialized fields of medicine.
One of the main reasons I came to this program was because it included the option of gaining clinical experience at Sheba, one of the best hospitals in the world, and for me, it could not have been better as the program allowed me to do so in my home country.
The Problem Based Learning curriculum, weekly clinical skills sessions, and early patient contact in combination with great faculty and staff has set the stage for a fascinating medical school journey. Studying in the sunny Mediterranean with new colleagues and a completely new culture adds to the great experience and thrill of gaining knowledge. All the elements of the program are well structured. The campus and facilities fulfil all of the requirements and expectations of a well-rounded medical degree programme. All this is geared towards the success of the students, which I very much appreciate.
Living in Cyprus and adapting to the lifestyle was easy because everyone is extremely friendly and goes the extra mile to ensure that all things are taken care of. The island is very scenic with palm trees, great beaches, lot of sunshine and excellent mountain ranges. There is nothing but good things to say about Cyprus and this has confirmed that my decision to study medicine here was a great one!
The fear of moving to a different country with a foreign language and different culture combined with an intensive medical programme disappear the moment you arrive in Cyprus.
It all starts with a great team at the Medical School that will do their best to make your relocation easy and fast. It goes on with an amazing programme – offering you skills and facilities that will help you achieve self-confidence before meeting with real patients. The programme sees the doctor as more than a physician; you are required to show strong communication skills and these are all taught throughout the programme too. The faculty will do everything so you fully understand the material and are very student orientated. Much depends on self-paced learning and this is the basis of being a good doctor in the future since in this profession we are required to study all the time.
Problem Based Learning is a unique method that challenges your thinking and allows you to develop the ability to analyse a case, from understanding the problem and underlying pathophysiology through to the solution. And besides studying, life in Cyprus is fun, easy and offers amazing places to explore.
The best thing about medical school in Cyprus is that life moves at the pace you want it to. You’re surrounded by people as motivated as you are on your course, you’re in a vibrant city full of relaxed, welcoming people and you can get to beautiful beaches with clear seas whenever you have a free weekend. Personally the thing I enjoy most is the cafe culture. Most places have free wifi so you can work wherever you want, and you’re not confined to the library allowing you to make the most of the sun.
Life as a student at the Medical School is as intimidating as any anxious fresher would think. The material is extensive and complex. Classes are long and tiring. Walking between two campuses often involves acquiring a spectacular tan. Have I mentioned clinical visits involving real patients start from the first week? Well, I do not want to scare you away.
The life of a medical student is as rewarding as it is challenging. The material is demanding, but it is also absolutely fascinating. Weekly schedules and lectures can be rigorous, but that is more than made up for when resolution of cases later becomes effortless. The pressures of academics melt away during clinical visits when confronted with the reality of having to interact with a person who is possibly sick, tired, and scared. Experiencing the feeling of being a physician and applying learned knowledge is as humbling and heady as one can expect.
I am confident that for prospective students no elaboration is needed on the anticipation of becoming one of the best that the UK will have to offer. Clinical immersion starts upon arrival, and we are expected to approach the course with a physician’s mind-set. Problem-based learning, and its realistic progression of cases, is crucial in the development of this mentality and approach to medicine. But aside from the high quality of education, life in Cyprus is quite pleasant and picturesque. The country and her people are warm and welcoming.
Being a student here is a truly maturing and refining experience. The approach to independent learning, critical thinking, and clinical exposure will have a definite impact on your future career. I look forward to seeing brilliant individuals from diverse backgrounds as my future colleagues, and sincerely hope that the reader is inspired to be one of them.
I saw the St George’s programme as an amazing opportunity to get to immerse myself in a different way of life alongside my studies, believing I would be much richer for the experience. Not only am I living somewhere that is very foreign to me, but I also get the chance to study alongside people from all over the world, all with different knowledge and perspectives that enables us all to have a more rounded character which will be invaluable when we graduate and are practicing medicine. I have already learned so much, both in terms of clinical science and skills but also in the social side of medicine from both lessons and the diverse cohort that I am in. The core learning process of PBL is incredibly conducive to success and the emphasis on self-directed learning introduces accountability to us early on.
There is a large amount of support readily available, from library resources, to health, to Greek language support. There are also many opportunities offered through the school to help make the most of our time here, whether it is directly associated with our medical studies, such as charity drives and the mobile clinic, or social activities like day trips around the island and the host family programme which gives us the opportunity to see and experience Cyprus organically.
For further info please visit my blog at: http://stgeorgesmarvellousmedicine.com
Studying in Cyprus has been a wonderful opportunity to get the best education in the medical field and in an international setting. Having a class where over 20 countries are represented and students can share their knowledge and experience of working in their home countries is a unique opportunity that very few get. Furthermore, the doctors are excited to share their wisdom with students, unlike many other schools. You are immersed in the medical field by the first-hand experiences with doctors and the early clinical exposure with placements in your first year and rotations starting in the second year – all under a renowned university. The high standards of a British school combined with the experience of studying abroad and returning to your home country for practice makes the medical school an all-around unique and fruitful experience where you can learn from those active in the field while getting the education that will ensure you become a great physician.
In terms of living in Cyprus, you are exposed to a unique culture. There are beautiful beaches, historical sites, and the Mediterranean lifestyle and so much more you can enjoy while studying medicine. The close-knit community allows you to develop relationships with those around you, building rapport with those in the academic, professional and social settings.
Overall, the school provides great academic opportunity, a close-knit community, and the international experience to create a unique medical education experience.
One of my favourite things about this school is the volunteering opportunities through the Mobile Clinic Club. I have been involved in expeditions to rural villages to perform health screening tests and raise health awareness within these communities. It is not only a great way to practice our clinical skills but it is also a rewarding and unique way to give back to the Cypriot community.
Most Cypriots are relatively friendly, helpful and laid back. Cyprus has a variety of activities that you can enjoy. If like me you like your food, then there are many restaurants serving an affordable variety of dishes, which can be either local or international.
Leaving the United States to attend a medical school halfway across the world in Cyprus was one the scariest and most exciting decisions in my life, and probably one of the best. Learning about international health and healthcare systems outside of the US has always been of interest to me, and this program has afforded me with the opportunity to explore this interest through first-hand clinical experience.
During my first week, I began my near weekly interaction with patients through clinical and community visits. My professors are all clinicians who have trained and worked all over the world. And this program is international in all senses of the word as most of my classmates are from the UK, Canada, Australia, Israel, Lebanon, Italy, United States, and more. We all learn from each other about our home countries and native health systems. With these new friends I’m able to take quick, inexpensive trips anywhere in Europe after exams and on the weekend. Plus, Cyprus is a gorgeous island country and you truly get into the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle living here, which is perfect when so much stress comes from medical school. After our first two years we are able to decide if we want to do our last two in Chicago, Tel Aviv, Puerto Rico, or to stay in Cyprus. For me knowing I can go back and get clinical experience in the States was a very appealing offer, especially when it came to matching for a residency.
Joining the St George’s, University of London medical programme in Nicosia hasopened up several doors of opportunity. As a medical school it offers a well developed and intriguing way of delivering medical education to students. We learn theory and actually apply it on the spot, which I find to be one of the best ways to deliver the material; it is essential in allowing us to emphasise what we learn.
Learning alongside physicians from week one and through Problem Based Learning groups is supplemented by the loving and caring environment created by the administrators, instructors and everyone associated with the school. Furthermore, being in Cyprus is an experience in itself. We are offered the unique chance to explore all the wonderful aspects of the island, from beaches to mountains to local treasures. This helps me gather energy through a change of scenery and refocus to move on with my journey as a medical student. Last but definitely not least, this Medical School has increased my understanding of the field and opened up many choices to pursue in a hopefully successful career as a practicing doctor.
The chance to study medicine is a truly unique opportunity. The prestigious programme St George’s, University of London has to offer coupled with the picturesque country of Cyprus is an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. From the beginning I loved the programme as we are not only taught medicine, but also how to become good doctors. We learnt in a clinical setting from week 1, where we were able to perform examinations, take clinical histories and apply a variety of skills on real or simulated patients. This experience was beyond my expectations.
As University of Nicosia students, we are taught by professors and lecturers who are highly trained medical professionals with a vast range of experience and who are genuinely passionate about what they teach.
I was really nervous about the big move, especially since I have never lived away from home. However, the support available from the student services team made everything very easy and smooth. While studying here, we are able to explore what this beautiful country has to offer, which makes the experience all the sweeter!
For a Cypriot, such as myself, the opportunity to join a renowned programme in your home country is astonishing! This was one of the main reasons I chose to join the demanding St George’s MBBS programme offered by the University of Nicosia. The early clinical exposure is one of the other reasons I joined this particular programme. Starting from the very first week you have the opportunity to interact with real patients and as you progress, the number of patients you interact with increases drastically.
Every single patient is a new experience of its own! The excellent facilities, the state-of-the-art equipment and the high quality teaching from consultant physicians and surgeons, make the programme ideal for learning medicine. The flexibility of self-directed learning allows me to study in depth areas of medicine I find interesting and tailor the learning opportunities according to my interests and subsequent career. Moreover, the programme has given me the chance to meet many people from the 4 corners of the world, making my student experience even more interesting and enjoyable.
Limassol is known by Cypriots to be the most desirable city to live in. It is a vibrant, multicultural coastal city where there is always something to do, be it hiking in the mountains, exploring the old town or partying on the beach. As part of the first cohort at Limassol General Hospital, I have found all of the staff to be incredibly accommodating and enthusiastic in delivering the St George’s curriculum. The hospital offers specialty training for doctors as well as serving as a teaching hospital for nurses, so educating medical students has been welcomed and encouraged by staff at all levels. While Greek is the primary language spoken in Limassol, the city’s diversity means that English serves as a common language that is widely spoken within the hospital.
I decided to apply for the St George’s course in medicine at the University of Nicosia because it combined so many factors that I found appealing. The PBL-based approach is an excellent way to start your studies, with a case to learn about each week. On top of that, I get to study in beautiful, sunny Cyprus. Once I got here, I realised that the course is supported by some excellent teaching, and the faculty and administration staff are all very friendly and supportive. I am very happy in Cyprus and have had excellent opportunities to see a wide variety of patients, get involved with trips to take blood pressure in areas around the country, and of course spend some quality time at the beach after exams!