January 26, 2012
'You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours'

My saving grace (i.e. from my usual state of being fairly useless and moreso a knowledge sponge that took up too much space) was when there was a tourist patient. In my first couple of weeks I was really missing not having someone to speak English to, well, not so much missing the English but missing the ease of communication…so I was always overjoyed whenever there was a foreigner in the ED. People would amusedly pass on the medical file to me and ask me to speak to the patient or ask them certain questions.

Another thing, there were a fair few doctors who wanted to practise English. Some of them would come and ask me the English term for certain things. One doctor was particularly keen, sometimes I wouldn’t understand what he was asking…so he’d draw me a diagram or something pictorial until I understood the term he wanted me to teach him in English. I actually thought he was a bit standoffish at first but later discovered he was quite funny and nice to be around. In return for my small English lessons, he would teach me ultrasound and let me follow him around when he saw patients.

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