For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Global Health Education Student Experiences Shawn Mattson

"I chose to do an elective in general pediatrics at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. I am going into obstetrics and gynecology, so pediatrics was not an obvious choice; however I was very interested in coming to Geneva since I have family there and the department of pediatrics was the only department that I contacted who could accommodate a visiting student for a single month.

"While I was there, I learned a great deal of medical French. I also saw the way a different health care system worked, and the way that people practice medicine in a different country.

Shawn Mattson, 4th Year Elective in Geneva, Spring 2015

"I was given a great deal of autonomy. I carried my own patients, wrote my own progress notes, communicated with parents and patients, and presented my patients during daily rounds. I also gave a 35-minute talk on meningitis, in French, to other students.

"The experience was challenging because I was so far outside of my comfort level. I speak French, but didn’t know much medical French. It was also challenging because it was a field I wasn't as familiar with. I hadn't done pediatrics in over a year! But I suppose like all good challenging experiences, when you complete them successfully it gives you added confidence.

"It was also fun being a representative of the American system, which is so well respected. And it was fun being a representative of Philadelphia, a city most people didn't know much about but one that I have grown to love, so I enjoyed encouraging people to come visit."

"I think I have made some lasting contacts at the hospital. I was told I would be welcome anytime, and I even have at least one person willing to help me see if I can get an experience in obstetrics and gynecology next time.

"I loved my experience because I lived with my grandmother for six weeks, and she is wonderful. I enjoyed amazing weather and had some amazing adventures in a beautiful country."

 Back to Top