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My Learning Experience in National Children’s

By Dr. Xu Jialu, from Neurology Department
It has been two months since I studied in the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. When I first arrived in Washington D.C, everything seemed strange. The secretary of neurology department showed me around the department to make me familiar with the new environment.
My supervisor, Dr. Gaillard set up the schedule for my three-month study. He let me learn whatever I was interested in. Meanwhile he also asked me to join his clinic to follow up his epilepsy patients. We saw 6-8 patients per day. Dr. Gaillard talked with patients like a friend and asked them about their summer holidays. Since every patient had 30 minutes to one hour time for a visit, Dr. Gaillard would explain the disease carefully to them and their families. He always asks whether they have any questions to make sure they fully understand what he says, and most of them trust him completely. They discussed the problems with him and followed his instructions. They would also send gifts to him such as a drawing or a box of handmade cakes. Some parents would even give everyone a big hug for thanks when saying goodbye. They are also friendly to me. If they know something about China, they would like to talk with me about it.
Dr. Gaillard also offered me the opportunity last month to attend Epilepsy Board Review 2017, which was about training for neurologists’ fellowship. I even got the book “Epilepsy Board Review”. In those three days, more than ten speakers gave us lectures from the definition to the method of examination and the management of epilepsy. It really gave us a broader view of epilepsy.
Within these two months, I saw much and learned much. I find some differences here. Firstly, the professional division here is more refined. For example, in the neurology department, doctors choose to specialize in different aspects like epilepsy, headaches or multiple sclerosis, etc., so everyone works on his own specialty. Secondly, Ward Round in Three Levels is performed well here. Rounding on wards is mostly for explaining illness to patients and their parents using the language they can understand, as well as for communication between doctors. So the residents, fellows and attending doctors should all prepare well for the rounds. Doctors like to use data for their explanation. Residents, who are the most diligent, arrive at hospital at 6am to prepare. The harder they work, the more they can learn. Thirdly, they appreciate team work. Even for a consultation service, they would have the team of three levels who work together. Every group sets up time every week to discuss and make decisions. They face patients directly. Even for the residents’ clinic or fellows’ clinic, they have supervisors along for consultation. Fourthly, everyone in the hospital is asked to treat patients with care and release their suffering. There’re cartoons everywhere on the wall. They treat patients strictly following the guidelines of authority and insurance. So I not only learn about my specialty, but also experience the atmosphere in Children’s National. It’s really a good experience for me.

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