So to say that my day was interesting would probably be an understatement.
I arrived at the hospital at 9 in the morning after catching the Tuk Tuk across Chiang Mai (being too lazy to get up earlier and walk the 4k). I spent the first hour and a bit of the morning getting to know the head of the deparment, and having the different areas of CMU and Maharaj hospital explained to me.
It was really interesting to find out that they do what's called a whole-body approach to medicine - which is something similar to what I learned in CHSC 1F90. They look at patients from simply what's beyond the physical symptoms, and are encouraged to write down social, psychological and spiritual aspects of health in addition to physical - that really impressed me.
After getting to know all about the department of Family Medicine, I met Dr. Peerasak and we went on a tour of the rest of the hospital campus. We headed to the main building (Family Medicine is a little side office on the East side of the hospital) and started the tour in the ER where there were family medicine residents rotating through there. Let me tell you, that I wish I could have taken 1000 pictures, and I wish I could have stayed in that ER forever. Though there wasn't anything too interesting at the time, the assortment of 20 different patients, with 20 different illnesses, and 20 different machines looking after them was something that made me want to stay there for the rest of my life. I'm definitely going to have to consider emergency medicine as one of my career options (why are they all so fun).
After the ER we took a look down by the imaging rooms, and I got a feel for just how big the hospital was (considering it took us a good 10 minutes to walk across it). After the imaging rooms (MRI, CT, X-Ray, Etc) we headed up to the second floor, which housed the OR (which I caught a brief glimpse of pre-op through several sets of doors), the Kidney-Liver ICU, and the Post-Op ICU (I didn't know there were separate ones besides NICU and CICU... crazy). This was also a place where I wanted to stay forever.
After doing a little more walking, we ended up in the same building, but far away from lots of patients, in a section that was deemed more research oriented. After waiting outside an office for 5 minutes, we were invited to check out the Cardiac Pathophysiology lab - the main event... or as I now know it to be called, the Cardiac Electrophysiology Research and Training Centre or CERT.
We were ushered into a board room and invited to sit down, when Dr. Chattipakorn himself, and an incredibly knowledgeable PhD student entered the room, sat down and started asking me a few questions. After explaining who I was, where I was from, what I was studying, and what I was doing here, he explained to me a lot of what they do in this research centre; from macromolecular to full patient studies.
After a minute or two of explanation, he offered to give us a tour. We started off by heading through the lab setting - which reminded me much of home - before we were suddenly in what looked to be a CathLab. Without saying too much, because I think it's a wee-bit confidential, it looked like a full operating suite that was set up to do Cath research and cardiac assistance device insertion / studies on large animals. Crazy.
After passing through another set of doors, we ended up in a small animal OR, in which a large white lab rat was laying open on the table. From what I remember, ischemia and hypoperfusion studies and the analysis of several drugs on reprefusion of myocardial muscle was being performed, as the action potentials were being measured next to the rat. It was totally crazy, but totally cool.
After that, we checked out a bunch of other different research areas, one which really amazed me was the Patch Clamp area they had set up, which allows single cell studies on ion channels via a 1 micron capillary tube under visual microscopy - blew my mind, considering the only one in Thailand was sitting right in front of me.
After explanation of a few more things, we took some pictures, exchanged many thanks, and said our goodbyes, but not before Dr. Chattipakorn mentioned that if I'm ever looking for a credit for my degree, that this might be an option... I've been thinking all night for a way that I can do this.
Anyways, afterwards, I spent the afternoon learning different Thai Massage techniques.
I am now knowledable in a proper medical Head/Neck, Shoulder, and Full Back massage. I should be knowledable in arms and feet, except during my training (which involves me getting a massage) I passed right out for an hour, and was very embarrassed once I woke up! It was far more relaxing than I anticipated.
Anyways, it's late, and I've got to be up early tomorrow again, so hope you enjoyed the update!
See ya later!
P.S. Here's some links:
http://www.med.cmu.ac.th/dept/family/2012/index.php/en/staff - Who's training me
http://www.med.cmu.ac.th/dept/physio/cep/team.htm - CERT