An interview with Kate Foster: student of the semester! Study Abroad

CYA Student Kate Foster made the most of her time in Greece.

Kate, a self-proclaimed mythology fan, was drawn to Greece’s rich history long before she got here. For them live in Athens gave her the opportunity to explore different aspects of the country’s history. She had the opportunity to visit famous ancient sites from the Acropolis to the temple in Delphi to the Palace of Knossos. Just two weeks ago, Kate even ran the 5 km race of the Athens Authentic Marathon. However, these experiences are only part of their experience abroad.

As a biology student, most of Kate’s courses aim to meet her general educational requirements at her home institution at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, she did a lot more than just study. If she is not in class or continues CYA excursionsShe devotes a lot of time to volunteering in the local community. Every week, Kate has shadowed well-known surgeon Doctor Spyros Smparounis at the Metropolitan General Hospital.

When the doctor has patients, Kate interacts with them first hand and learns about her illness and how to treat her with the doctor. Kate even had the opportunity to witness an operation in the room! On less busy days, Dr. Smparounis Kate teaches about diseases and medical emergencies and how to treat them. As an EMT, Kate was interested in the differences between the Greek and American health systems. Here in Greece there is a universal health program and private options. In America, healthcare is now mostly private. This week Kate will have a lesson from Dr. Get Smparounis through the state-of-the-art da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. Getting the chance to work closely with a renowned surgeon and build friendship is “once in a lifetime,” said Kate.

If she’s not with Dr. Smparounis works in the hospital, Kate volunteered with an organization called Medical Volunteers International (MVI). MVI is a nonprofit organization that provides medical assistance to refugees. Once a week, Kate goes to one of her women’s and children’s clinics and helps doctors when they see patients. On her busiest day, fourteen patients got through in the few hours she was there. She can work with doctors while listening to patients about their symptoms, asking follow-up questions, and making a diagnosis.

Unlike many internship and volunteer experiences in the United States, Kate at MVI can make real contributions and contributions to the doctors she works with. She says that this work gave her the opportunity to see “what’s actually going on and how the process is going, and to look at the symptoms and say,” Okay, I think that’s it. “Every time she goes in she gets a different opportunity to test the skills and knowledge she has acquired in the classroom.

One of Kate’s favorite parts of her volunteer work is that she feels she can ensure more continuity in the clinic than usual. The doctors she works with volunteer time and effort so they often stay two weeks before switching to a new doctor. Kate, on the other hand, has been helping in the clinic every week since mid-September. Since she’s been coming for weeks, she is confident of helping doctors identify recurring patients and reviewing her previous problems before helping them with new ones.

This is far from Kate’s first venture into medicine. She is a certified EMT, has worked in a burn clinic and a trauma center and has already shadowed a large number of different medical professionals. But despite all these experiences, she feels that her experiences here in Greece were unique. While shadowing is just “watching” in the US, she describes her work here as shadowing and with the volunteer organization as “more interactive” and “involved”. She had the opportunity to speak up and share her opinion with real medical professionals in a way she had no chance in the United States. While she loved the work she had previously done in the US, she admits that “it’s one thing to learn it in the classroom, but another to actually go and see what you’re teaching in class.” Learn action, and see the consequences of it. “In her volunteer work here in Greece, Kate has seen the healing effects of her help on real people.

This healing effect is all the more significant as Medical Volunteers International helps refugees. For Kate, this was different from looking after patients in a hospital in the United States. Without the work of organizations like MVI, it can be extremely difficult for refugees to find medical care. In countries like Greece, where so many refugees have arrived in recent years, this type of humanitarian aid is crucial. By looking closely at the situation of these refugees, Kate has gained more than medical experience from volunteering – she feels that her work at MVI “has opened a whole new realm of sympathy”.

When it comes to the future CYA Kate’s advice was simple: “Don’t hesitate … it’s going to be great.”

For their great work throughout their time at CYAKate was named student of the semester for fall 19! Bravo Kate!

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