The past two days were pretty interesting days. Yesterday, My preceptor Dr. P took us on a tour of the poor neighborhoods of Heraklion. We walked the streets with him and two social workers. While we walked through the neighborhoods we visited various community centers that offered different services to the community. They had a joint occupational therapy and physical therapy center that they offered to underprivileged people, especially the elderly population. At the occupational therapists office we learned about all the programs and treatments that she offers elderly individuals. I thought the most interesting tools were the ones that helped stroke survivors regain the dexterity to write their names again.
Another place we visited as a group was a day care center. This was not an ordinary day care center for kids like in America, it was one for elderly people. Their family members drop them off in the morning and pick them up after work because they can’t take care of themselves during the work day. This center employs a full time nurse, that is in charge of giving all the elderly patients their medications throughout the day. This day care center also organizes various activities with local schools, which allows the elderly people to teach and interact with young children to pass down traditions. For example, this week it is the Greek Orthodox Easter and the elderly people visited the local schools and dyed Easter eggs with the young kids.
Today I was back in the hospital, where I examines a patient with the largest right sided mass that I had ever palpated. We knew that he has cancer in his liver, but we are unable to determine if it is a metastasis or hepatic in origin. The reason we can’t do this is because many of the doctors are taking this week off for Easter and the tests can’t be performed. I asked one of the attendings about Greek Easter and he told me that it is bigger than American Christmas, which really amazed me.
Other than that we met a new student today from Belgium who is really nice and seems to work hard. He says that his medical school is 7 years long, so it’s fairly comparable to ours. The international student from turkey didn’t show up again, which really surprises me. I’m just happy this new student is a hard worker so that we can split the patient work load between him heather and myself.
Heather and I ended the day today walking the wall the encircles the old city, which was very beautiful.