Experiencing American Life

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From left to right: Le Nguyen Quynh Thu, Minh Huy, Nguyen Vinh Trinh, and Hai Long; Global Health Scholars from Vietnam

I had many hopes for my time in the United States. I wanted to see the way medical teams work, and the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the organization, including management, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and sanitation workers, as health professionals include not only those directly involved in medical care but also those working for infection control of the community. I was also looking forward to learning about medical machines and new clinical techniques. Finally, I was hoping to improve my English language skills. Fortunately, I can say that all these hopes have been met, although English is still a challenge despite the improvements I have made.

I had never heard about the global health program at Western Connecticut Health Network/University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine before I was interviewed at Cho Ray Hospital. I only knew that some doctors had undergone one-month training in the United States in the Intensive Care Unit, but those stories were from over ten years ago. I strongly believe that the global health exchange can help our department develop through training our Neurological Intensive Care Unit physicians. I have even had the amazing opportunity to contact a neurosurgery professor at Yale University. I also think my department is a good environment for American medical students to practice their skills and gain experience with some tropical diseases.

I am moved that all patients are so highly valued. They are respected even when in a coma. All special equipment and available resources are used to serve patients regardless of who they are.

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From left to right: Minh Huy, Leah Moody, Le Nguyen Quynh Thu, Dr. Majid Sadigh, Nguyen Vinh Trinh, and Hai Long

I am very happy with our stay here. The rental house is conveniently located close to the hospital. Dr. Winter and Ms. Lennon are so kind to us. I have had the amazing opportunity to contact a neurosurgery professor at Yale University. We were very happy to join Ms. Lennon and her hospitable family for Thanksgiving dinner. We also enjoyed shopping on Black Friday. Ms. Moody, Dr. Parve, and two Ugandan doctors gave us a tour of New York City where we visited the Metropolitan Museum, Times Square, and the memorial place of the Twin Towers. It is a wonderful city.

When traveling on our own, we sometimes get confused about which train or bus to catch, but Leah usually guides us. It is really cold, but I love it. I have never spent time in the cold before. It was difficult to sleep well the first few days, but after buying some winter clothes and a fan heater, I have acclimated. I eat at the hospital and try everything many different types of foods. We often cook Vietnamese food for dinner, and, surprisingly, find all the ingredients we need at the local supermarket. We are certainly getting to experience American life.

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