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Elective Competition Winner 2017

By Amy Lee

Elective Competition Winner 2017

Meet Amy Lee, a medical student from Queen Mary, University of London and one of the winners of our Wesleyan Elective Competition 2017.  Here she shares with us her elective experience in Cambodia!

Breaking expectations; challenging perceptions

At first glance, one may be inclined to think I had joined an expedition to Antarctica as part of my medical electives.

At the time of writing this short ramble however, I know better. From the window of my airplane, I can just about make out what I think looks like a bunny-shaped cloud lazily drifting by beneath me.

My name is Amelia Lee and I am a final year medical student from Queen Mary, University of London. It is precisely because I believe I can only truly understand a moment by experiencing it, that I have decided to make this journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Land of the ancient temples, a city still recovering from the echoes of the violence of the Khmer Rouge reign, Siem Reap is home to Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) where I will be spending the next four weeks catching a glimpse of what the future could hold for me as a budding doctor interested in both global health and paediatrics (with a hearty dose of local delicacies to sustain me all the way). 

AHC interestingly began from a moment of experience (similar to that which I wish to capture) by Kenro Izu, a visiting photographer, who brought to life his vision of this non-profit organization that strives to deliver the best healthcare it can for the children of Cambodia.

In the safety and comfort of London, my hands instantly itch to get an interpreter, just a phone call away, when facing a patient who does not speak English. Here however, it is I who will stand out as the foreigner who does not speak Khmer.

The salvation complex fueled part of me feels like I am on a mission here to educate fellow local students I will be meeting, about how best to care for patients as I believe I have been taught in the United Kingdom.

The healthy humbling truth however, is that it is I who will be educated about how patients here are best cared for in their own way crafted by their culture, history and resources which will vastly differ from mine.

This is it then, to have the core of my beliefs and ideas about medicine turned on its head, broken and reshaped. Let the adventure begin!

Amy Lee -travel

Are you going on an elective?  Head off on your travels safe in the knowledge that we've got you covered for problems such as cancellations for exam re-sit cancellations, HIV needle-stick injuries or unforeseen medical expenses with elective insurance from Wesleyan

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