Internship Report - Medical Exchange Program

Guli Said

My internship in Sulaimania Emergency Hospital

Guli Said, Frankfurt, 24.08.2017

The German Medical studies curriculum requires from students to complete four month-long internships in different facilities before entering year six (last study year, practical year). I have already done three and decided to do my last one in my hometown Sulaimania in Autonomous Kurdistan Region.  I chose the emergency hospital as my work place as I haven’t done any internship in that field before and found it interesting to see what happens with acute and urgent cases and how doctors in Kurdistan deal with them. I contacted Mr. Dr. Lalo Norki from KEMSA and went through all small application paper work. He granted me an internship place and my path for entering the hospital was opened. A room in the students’ dormitory was offered to me, but as my relatives live in Sulaimania, I was in no need for that. Being on-site in my birthplace, I contacted Mrs. Dr. Rezan Hardi who is an experienced emergency doctor working in ER and who volunteered to be responsible for exchange students like me. She has worked for many years in Germany before that’s why we were able to chitchat or discuss in German, too. She informed me about the meeting point for my first day which was 8 o’clock at Ali Ehsan Hall in Surgical teaching hospital building where the daily post call meeting takes place. The responsible surgeons meet here, present cases of the day and night before and sometimes held lectures, all in English, too. The doctors’ communication among each other and documentation is in English, talking with patients they use Kurdish or Arabic. After the morning meeting I mostly went to Emergency hospital.

This building consists of three floors. The first floor includes a big consultation hall where a junior doctor and a senior, more experienced doctor see and examine patients with acute symptomatic conditions. The majority of patients, children and adults, came with generalised or localised abdominal or (colic) loin pain, complain during urination, some after fallen from height or on ground, with wounds or accidental injuries or swallowing/aspiration of small objects, after snake or dog bite, scorpion or insect sting and head injury. I was allowed to take history from patients, examine them and then discuss differential diagnosis and further procedures with the doctors. We either gave them a prescription and send them home or the doctors admitted the patients for further observation and investigation e.g. radiologic imaging. The patients then stayed in “qawsh” (another hall with beds) or were send to third floor (ward). The second floor consisted of one ICU and operation rooms. The most interesting part of the internship were the trauma units. Severe conditions and injuries like bullet injury, fall from height with loss of consciousness or fractures, cardiac arrest, shock or severe road traffic accidents were taken care of and investigated after international standards.

Internship report KEMSA
"Go in and see what interesting cases we find."
Internship report KEMSA
"One lentil soup, please!” (tastyyy)
Internship report
“Let’s enter the Intensive Care Unit.”(of course only with permission)
Internship report KEMSA
“How did this happen?

If needed, I was free to help e.g. helping in performing resuscitation, preparing medication or giving oxygen. Often I just observed the scenario and work of the professionals.  Beside of that, I was allowed to put cannula, give i.m. injections, perform wound dressing and suturing and help putting a foley catheter. When the specialized doctors did rounds, we students were allowed to follow, see the newest radiologic imaging and ask our questions. A motivated and caring team of Doctors without Borders play also a big role in ER and help the local doctors and nurses at work. They often offered small skills training e.g. about Advanced Trauma Life support ATLS that I attended, too.  I mostly stayed until afternoon or sometimes came for the evening shift. The whole month was full of interesting cases, funny moments and nice conversation and encounters with doctors, students and other staff. I can only recommend to have an insight in that diversified ER everyday life and see how exciting medicine can be 🙂


Many thanks to KEMSA for organizing this opportunity.

Internship report KEMSA

“ Give way! Another RTA coming.”
(All other pictures are not intended for people with weak stomachs.)

Internship report KEMSA

“Have a look at that Brain CT, please.
I will take a look over this nice view of Suli.”