The Diary of a Medical Student in Cape Verde: Part 1
The Resort Group PLC, working through The Cape Verde Foundation, is committed to developing and improving healthcare across the Islands. In addition to its donation drive for much-needed medical equipment for local hospitals and its own integrated Medical Services, The Resort Group has enjoyed welcoming trainee healthcare professionals to its Resorts – offering them a restful haven while they complete work experience placements at hospitals and clinics across the Islands.
In June, Alexandra McLennaghan arrived from the UK for a four-week medical elective placement with our very own Dr Monica. She was based at the MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa, giving her ample opportunity to appreciate the beauty and tranquillity that Cape Verde has to offer during her evenings and days off. Alexandra was kind enough to document her experience from both a personal and a professional point of view, and we are pleased to share some of her insights on our blog.
Week 1: On-Resort Medical Services Clinic
Alexandra’s first week was primarily based at the Medical Services clinic at MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa. Her placement got off to an active start as a guest had a seizure while Alexandra was enjoying breakfast, but she handled it with aplomb and supported the patient until the medics arrived. Fortunately, the incident didn’t heavily impact the patient’s holiday, as Alexandra saw them every day for the rest of their trip having a wonderful time.
When she officially started at the clinic after breakfast, Dr Monica and Dr Adrianna welcomed Alexandra to the team, making sure that she had all the information she needed to orient herself. She also completed an Emergency First Response course during her first week (with a natural advantage from her time at medical school, of course.).
The week included plenty of moving around, as Alexandra was taken to clinics at both the MELIÃ Tortuga Beach Resort and the MELIÃ Llana Beach Resort & Spa each day. Other hotels in the nearby area could also call on the doctors at the Dunas clinic, who are on call 24 hours a day. Alexandra found that the doctors were able to handle most healthcare issues with their breadth of knowledge and range of skills, making the experience a mutually rewarding one for her as a trainee. As she observed after her first week: “The patients here are definitely in good hands.”
The clinic offered Alexandra plenty of chances to compare, contrast and challenge her own knowledge. She met patients with minor ailments such as one requiring an ear wash irrigation, and another with shoulder pain that responded well to treatment.
Week 2: Hospital Ramiro Figueira
Although the second week still involved some Resort-based clinic work, Alexandra also spent a couple of days at a nearby hospital – the Hospital Ramiro Figueira. This led to some more serious cases, including a patient presenting with unexplained microcytic anaemia who would likely require a blood transfusion, another patient who required stitches after dropping broken glass on her foot, and a man who severely broke his leg from playing football and would likely require surgery at another hospital on the Islands.
Dr Monica and Dr Adrianna took a keen interest in Alexandra’s experiences at the hospital, and they exchanged ideas and insights over lunch that week.
Making the most of the Resort and the beaches
While the placement had its fair share of intensity and could be demanding at times, Alexandra took the opportunity to unwind in style in her free time. As well as using the gym to keep to her fitness routine, she completed a diving course, tried out surfing for the first time and enjoyed the Resort’s entertainment, bars and restaurants with the new friends she had met.
She even had a pleasant surprise during week two when her Dad arrived a day earlier than expected to visit her. They were able to visit some of Sal’s luxurious restaurants and bars together – not to mention seeing a beautiful sunset over the weekend, which Alexandra described as “the best sunset I have ever seen”.
Take a look through Alexandra’s photo gallery of highlights from her first two weeks on placement…
If you are interested to find out more about Alexandra’s experiences during the rest of her placement, we will soon be sharing more of her reflections on life as a trainee healthcare professional on these beautiful Islands.
In addition, if you would like to find out more about property investment in Cape Verde or The Resort Group’s work in the local community, please contact our team via our contact page.