Ms. Nimisha Vasandani, University of Georgia, October 2017
Good Morning Dr. Totitchong,
My name is Nimisha Vasandani, I am from America, and I'm not sure if you remember me but I was an intern through Friends for Asia in the hospital this past summer for 4 weeks. You had taken me out to lunch with the group on my first day, and then again on my last. This is long overdue but I just wanted to say Kob Kun Ka for the immense hospitality you showed us, along with your staff. I had the most incredible summer of my life thanks to Thammasat University, getting the opportunity to be mesmerized by the magic of a hospital, along with learn about such a peaceful culture. Each doctor I met at Thammasat shared with me their passions and taught me more than I could ever learn from a book. They were each so kind and patient when explaining procedures, medical devices, and examinations to me. It is because of them, along with the medical students I met, that I want to continue to pursue the field of medicine to be a doctor like them some day. I know we only had the opportunity to meet twice, but your story was such an inspiration to me so I wanted to thank you for sharing it with us and for all the lives you have saved in Thailand. And of course, thank you for the most delicious food. I hope to come back soon some day to explore more of the most beautiful country, and I will definitely pay a visit to your hospital.
Kob Kun Ka,
B.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pre-Medicine
University of Georgia | Class of 2019
Mr.Tomotaka Ichijo, Shimane University, September 2017
About training at Thammasat University.
I felt quite anxious about the differences in language, environment and culture before coming to Thailand, because I was not confident in English so much.
But in conclusion, since Mr. Boonsong, Ms. Praphawan, teachers and medical students were very kind to me, I was able to spend Thai life.
Even during practical training, Thammasat University people are basically friendly and everyone explained me without a disgusting look when I ask questions. It was easy to talk to and their talk was interesting.
I was also surprised at the high level of students and interns. I was impressed by that the procedure they are doing and the evaluation of patients are progressing one grade from Japanese medical students, so I was stimulated.
In the dormitory, there is a desk and self-study, I am satisfied overall.
Mr.Kotaro Hirai, Shimane University, September 2017
I have been in ER for 3 weeks.
I had a lot of cases that I can’t see in Japan. Especially trauma patient. Some of them were severe injury. In that time, I could get how should I cure. That is great experience for me.
Doctor, Students, ER stuff in Thailand are very kind to us. Sometimes they teach us their cases that we want to see. However we couldn’t find out Thailand language, but we get medical knowledge.
Thank you for your kindness.
6th student in Shimane University
Ms. Akiko, Shimane university, September 2017
About staffs in Thammasat University
Everyone was kind and tended to teach us. When I asked some questions to them, all of them willingly answered.
About students of Thammasat University
Everyone can speak English fluently so it was easy for me to communicate with them.
They studied a lot about their patients and diseases and they taught us.
Dorn who went to Shimane University once took us to dinner with his friends who are going to go to Shimane University next February.
About the accommodation
The dormitory we stayed was comfortable.
You took us to Ayutthaya. I had a great time there. And you let us know TU student password and how to get the No.2 bus.
You also arranged the lunch with Dr. Prakitpunthu for us.
I'd like to express my deepest appreciation for your help and support.
SURGERY ELECTIVE AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY, THAILAND
Thammasat University is the second oldest university of Thailand. The first campus was situated in the heart of the capital city, Bangkok. But eventually, the university wanted more room for development and growth so it had moved to another location, which has been named as the Rangsit campus. As from the moment the university started to develop at this new location, a huge campus was born, with more than 30 faculties. They are still building and renovating until the day of today. The Rangsit campus is a center of innovation and development, because science, health- and social studies are all close to each other.
Besides there are multiple gymnasiums situated at the campus, where the ASEAN games were held in 1998, which are the Olympic Games of Asia. After the games, the buildings were donated to the Thammasat University.
Also situated at the Rangsit campus is the academic Thammasat University Hospital. There are over 1,500 students educated by more than 300 professors and 200 doctors to make sure the best health care is provided. There are many different kinds of surgery performed at the TUH, which makes it an excellent learning environment for students. In the Netherlands we are used to specialized hospitals, so patients often have to move to another hospital to get a special kind of surgery. At Thammasat university, every kind of surgery is performed. Neurosurgery, CVT surgery, opthalmologic, pediatric, orthopedic, urosurgery and many more.
An internship at the department of surgery at Thammasat University is very educational. There is always room for you to walk around at the ORs if you see something more interesting. Outside work hours, there are many places to go on the campus and many activities to do. The campus is like a big village with stores and canteens. There is a free gym (TU Fitness), you can take yoga- or muay thai classes, there is a food plaza just around the corner of the campus (U-square) and there is a movie theatre. Most of the time there will be other exchange students (from other faculties) and usually you get in touch easily, as you can recognize them by their appearance (usually USA/Europe). And last but not least, it is a great opportunity to get to know the Thai people and culture better, which is really worth it. Everybody is really nice and helpful and the culture is beautiful.
The application for the surgery elective at TUH is the same as other electives abroad. The information you need is on EleUM. The elective coordinators in Maastricht will inform if there is any room for an elective student in the period that you are looking for. If they say you can go there, you can begin with the preparations for the elective.
- Make sure you start on time with the preparations for Maastricht University. The information you need is found on EleUM.
- The TU would like to receive the following information from you(send to mr Boonsong Leelachart, for contact details see below):
- Curriculum vitae in English with ID picture
- Copy of your passport of both sides, signed
- Flight detail (notice you have to book a flight!)
- Period of internship
- Form about the dormitory; you will find it on EleUM
- Contacts persons in the Netherlands
- "Keuzeonderwijs buitenland"
- Ask FHML
- Your own mentor
- Your assigned supervisor from Maastricht
- Contact persons in Bangkok: Mr Boonsong Leelachart, international relations officer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
During the internship:
- In order to settle at your dormitory, it's best to arrive on Sunday before you start the internship. You can go to the medical dormitory next to the hospital and ask the security guard on the second floor. He/she will provide the key to the room and the card for general entrance.
- At the first day of your internship you will meet mr. Boonsong Leelachart at the assigned time and location. He will hand over a map of the campus and take you to take a picture for your ID-card. Next up he will take you to meet dr. Prakitpunthu to show you around on the campus and to talk about Thammasat university. He will then bring you to dr. Prasit, head of surgery. He will provide your weekly schedule for the period of your stay and he will take care of your assessment forms. You will get a tour around the surgery department and he will hook you up with a medical student to show you the operation rooms. The medical student will show you the locker rooms, the clothes, the masks and he/she will tell about the rules of the OR.
- You have to start every morning from Monday till Friday at 9 AM at the assigned operation room. Before 9 AM, there is the morning ward, but this is in Thai language so it is not useful to attend this. There will be a list in the OR which shows the cases of the day. You'll wait in the OR until a resident/surgeon/student arrives. You introduce yourself properly and tell that you're a XX-year medical student from Holland and that you will be observing the surgeries for that day. Depending on the time available, the first case will be presented to you by the surgeon or the resident. They will tell about the history and the examination and show imaging results if available. You can always ask questions before, during or after surgery. The day ends when the surgeries are finished.
- During your internship, you have to meet dr. Prasit every Monday at 8:30 AM at his office (6th floor Kittiwattana building), so he can provide your weekly schedule. You can also ask him questions about planning if you need to. When you have a preference for a subdivision of surgery, you can ask him if you could see more of this.
- The evaluation of your functioning will be assessed by the doctors that you will see in OR. You can hand the field notes (form on EleUM; make sure you have copies!) to dr. Prasit and he will ask the doctors to fill out the forms. You will receive the forms at the end of your internship.
- At the end of your internship, you need to arrange a meeting with dr. Prakitpunthu and mr. Boonsong Leelachart to reflect on the period and how you experienced it. Also, you have to meet dr. Prasit once more to receive the field notes en to fill out your final assessment form together.
After the internship:
As for every elective abroad, you have to hand in a final report which describes your learning goals at the start of the elective and how you tried to accomplish them. For further information, see EleUM.
Good to know:
- Prepare yourself for a whole different culture. You might want to get to know the Thai culture, ways of communication and norms and values before you start your internship.
- There are free buses driving around on the campus. Look for a bus stop to find a map for the driving routes of the buses. Line 2 will drive past the hospital. There are no time schedules for the buses, they usually come every 5-10 minutes.
- To get to Bangkok: there is a shuttle bus from the campus to Mo Chit, from where you can take the BTS. This shuttle costs 30-35 Baht and takes around 30-45 minutes depending on traffic. The BTS takes you to wherever you want in Bangkok.
- Please be aware that the dormitory is not like Dutch standards. It is a simple room for two people, with a shower, toilet, closet and a desk. There is a common cooking room and a common study at every floor, and there is also a common refrigerator at the study room. If you do not want to have a shared room, you can ask for a singular one on the dormitory form. You get one set of bed sheets, if you need clean ones you can wash them at the laundry beneath the dormitory or ask for new ones at the service desk at the second floor. You have to clean the room by yourself.
- The TU fitness gym can be used by students from Thammasat University for free, you have to show your ID-card.
- On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday there is a market in the big hallway between the hospital and the faculty of medicine. You can buy clothes, shoes, toilet products but also food and fruits.
- The living costs in Thailand are very low; there are many stalls with food at the market and at the food plaza just outside the campus. Dinner at these places will be very cheap and usually good, but you might want to watch out with seafood and tapped water. But if you want to experience the real Thai way of living, you should try the food there!
- If there are any questions or any difficulties during your stay, please feel free to ask the contact persons above. They will make sure you feel comfortable and at ease while studying at Thammasat University.