95% exactly as I wrote it on the first day.

Dr. Schalamon came in. He is a fine surgeon? .
He welcomed the 5 of us.

“Most of us are really nice, he said smiling “but some people(shaking his head sideways) are very stressed. They’d shove you into a corner, ask you not to speak, move, breathe? (I was laughing at this point cos I could only imagine plus, it eased me up a lot. I really didn’t want to care TOO much about how expressive I was). Some are not happy that you’re here”, he concluded.

He addressed the issue of our attendance; stating that if something MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS came up, we could be absent but courteous enough to tell someone. No one was going to hold us for being absent.

He also told us of morning meetings at 7:45am and afternoon meetings at 2:00pm every day. It wasn’t compulsory but it’d be good if we were there.

He took us to various “stations” commonly known as wards. There were four of them; 5actually. To be able to ease up descriptions for kids, the wards were color-coded: Green, yellow(3rd floor), blue, red(2nd floor).
“It’s easier to tell a kid to go to the green ward than to go to Ward 2”. On the respective floors, a line strip on the ground and in the color of the ward led you to it. Any place that needed a pop of color was painted according to the ward’s name and thus, color. Everything else was white. It was truly beautiful and a very creative idea.(Unfortunately, I have no photos totally capturing this ingenuity).

He explained the schedule from Ms. Muller. We were assigned to a ward each week. For this week, Hareth and I were in the Green Ward.
This is Dr. Schalamon.


He explained that we were to be in our coats; just underwear beneath. When we were in the OR premises, we were to change into surgery wears: clothes and shoes. The shoes had names and there were shoes for GUESTS. These were for us. “If you don’t find your size, just pick any but be careful whose you pick.If you pick Dr. Hill’s shoes, well, you’d survive”. This time, we all laughed.


He showed us the OPD, the Helicopter Landing Spot (HLS) and like you’d guess, he told us it’d be great for us to witness a landing in the course of our practice. Not really the landing but the whole scenario of an emergency.
Next, he showed us a ”revival/resuscitation” room. It was amazing. Not anything so grandiose but yes,amazing. We could go in but we had to be invisible here because they’d definitely be a lot of stress in there. He told us that especially when kids do not survive, they’d be lots of emotions in the room. “People would need a place to vent their emotions. You’d be the easier victims but don’t take it personally ok?”

He took us to the ORs. 5 of them. He explained what ORs 1-3 was about; as well as 4&5.
“You look at the OR schedule. Decide which student would be in the OR for a surgery. You can toss a coin, you know. Use any system or fight and say, “that surgery is mine!” ”
We laughed.

Have you your meal cards? Lunch time starts at about 11. He told us the best time to be in the lunch room. He told us the food was (shaking heads and hands sideways)…ok.

If we needed anything, we could page him.
His pager rang. His eyes remained fixed on me during the call and I was like ??
“One of you left their documents so we need to go get it”. (It wasn’t mine so why was he speaking to me?!) We all went back to the 2nd floor. He collected a folder and handed it over to me(remember the folder I asked the jolly girl about?) I shook my head trying to say no and he looked at it and said, “Ruth?” Yes. Yes, Sir. I happily collected it. We were free to be wherever we wanted to be within the entire building.

: More name tags, the case history format/example used in the MUG, Contact person’s office card, writing materials, various maps, official welcome letter, a tourist guide booklet for the city, a brief history booklet of the city , more magazines on notable places, city tips/tricks, interesting places to visit, bus/bicycle/foot/tram routes etc. 

He waited for questions, wished us well and left.
His shift was over.

We decided amongst ourselves, which way to head next to. Mitte/Zdenko (Red/Yellow Wards) decided for the OR(I think ?) while Hareth and I proceeded to the Green Ward.

The last thing I wrote that day reads:
Today is a really bright day.

Everyone is all smiles and lots of sunshine.
I have a feeling this is going to be a good ride. I’m a tad bit apprehensive about meeting those under “more” pressure. It’d be fine and I’d surely tell you about it.

After leaving the Green Ward, I spent my remaining day moving from OR to OR, watching different procedures and being inspired.

PS: We attended the afternoon meeting. It was in German language but Zdenko translated a bit for me. After the meeting, the doctors and residents, most of them, though, turned to look at us. They must have just spoken about us. Everyone began knocking on the table or chair in front of/beside them.
That was their round of applause and their way of saying welcome. For some reason, I did feel welcomed indeed.

A number of them came to our seats to welcome us personally, ask questions and tell us to contact them if we had questions.

Lade and I also got the €84.30 bus/tram/trolley card which was for a month.
That was totally better than €6.40/ticket.


More on my first-week continues…
Thanks for being here.


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