First Ever Guest Post: Elective in India

A while ago, a friend suggested guest posts for my blog – which is completely understandable, as I represent only one sphere of med student life. At my school, we do electives at the end of fourth year and in the middle of fifth year. As is custom, most students attempt to use it as an excuse for some travelling. Last year’s fourth year group had students who went to Rwanda, India, Zambia and other fun places. I’m trying to get more students to write about their electives – I’m sure it will be of use to those of us still to plan said module.

This is Nabeela Adam, now a fifth year medical student. She went to India for her elective. This is what she has to say:

My time in India was magical. From my touchdown to a hot and humid Mumbai to the mosquitoes for possibly sucking me dry every night. If I could I would have stayed longer I would have, because when there are 1.2 billion people in the country, you are bound to see so many diseases and abnormalities that are not so common in our South African tertiary setting.

I found it truly amazing being surrounded by doctors who really wanted to part their knowledge. I also found it astonishing that many of them did their fellowships in America, Europe and Australia.

I thoroughly enjoyed the long hours in theatre, discussing cricket. My knowledge about the Indian cricket team grew from nothing to something I wish my medical knowledge was.

My knowledge in Anaesthesia grew in leaps and bounds, ensuring that I have a better understanding of the physiology of a pregnant woman and a known diabetic.

If it was not for Dr Butani (Head of Anaesthesia) I don’t think it would have been possible for me to see as much as I did.

I appreciated the fact that I was able to see so many surgeries and given a broader understanding of anaesthesia and congenital heart surgery while learning about anaesthesia in a baby at the same time.

I would definitely like to go back someday, and try and learn so much more.


  1. MedicalRose says:

    India…why has that option never crossed my mind? Sounds like it would be awesome.

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