Hello again, dear readers and future doctors! I am Ivet Tagareva and today I address you as a second year medical student in BEMC- even more eager to relate my incredible experience studying in Bari! That’s why I will get back to a topic relevant to the first year of my studies and I hope you will enjoy it!

It was the already the second semester and we had just finished our exams on basic and human sciences and were avidly waiting to explore a new field of knowledge. Something closer to what a medical doctor really does!  This valuable first insight for us was the subject Emergency Medicine!

It is a part of the cycle Basic Medical Scientific Methodology that serves as an inauguration into the world of disease! Morbidity, mortality and the methods of how to recognize, control and combat them where the important matter under the microscope!

The procedures adopted in the immediate treatment of the critically endangered patients where those that, logically, were addressed during our lectures. I, however, prefer to skip all the information about what you can and will learn in almost every other course. So let’s  shift directly to what impressed and inspired me most while living through the adventure of being a BEMC student!

It was the incredible opportunity to apply what we learn in practice! Basic Life Support (BLS) techniques as well as life saving interventions such as intubation, defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) were those procedures setting our antennae to the frequency of medicine- something immensely different from what we see on our favorite TV series such as “ER”! Yes, we were able to perform all those exciting, and I would also say, challenging procedures on a model- our first and sometimes very unfortunate patient!

Here you can see me performing defibrillation! And yes… the question “which button should I push” is very scary, don’t laugh! Don’t forget that you should not be in contact to the patient or medium that can somehow be in contact to the strong electric current! This could be detrimental to a normally working heart, such as that of the doctor or the BEMC student performing the procedure!

Our first patient was threatened many times with stomach inflation due to wrong insertion of the apparatus in the esophagus! We all did it at least once by mistake! In a real patient that would lead to rupture of blood vessels in the stomach and eventually, to death! That is why the use of models such as this one are a good way to train better and more safely future doctors!

Why, when and how is this relevant to what I want and will do as a medical doctor, one would suggest! The answer to this question is the story of my dear friend and excellent classmate Nipun, who saved a life by applying what we learned during our Emergency medicine classes.  It was late July in the metro of Milan when my friend noticed a woman collapsing. She was in a seemingly unconscious state and he was the first one at the site to respond to the emergency! He performed CPR while her husband was calling an ambulance! This is a story with a happy ending because the women recovered, but it was also with the invaluable help of Nipun who, as our professor would often imply, saved time to save a life!

The most important lesson, however, is that learning is about appreciating the opportunity, about knowing the aim and about understanding the purpose! What is the definition of those words in the context of the most humane profession is a question we, as medical students, should ask and answer ourselves! Thank you for reading and good luck to all candidates that plan to sit the IMAT next year and congratulations to all students that already got accepted!