DTMH January 2017
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) welcomes a new batch of no less than 88 doctors from 15+ nationalities. The next twelve weeks will be entirely consumed by mosquito anatomy, snake venom research, looking at faeces and blood through a microscope and learning about healthcare systems and how to improve them. Well, not entirely consumed I must say. Liverpool’s too much of a lively city to just live in for the sake of study. It must be explored! There are hundreds of pubs, bars, restaurants, yoga boutiques, football matches, parks for running and hills (North Wales for example) for mountain biking.
Remind me, why are there only 24 hours in a day when there’s so much to do? Add this to the fact that I’ve just returned from a 3-month travel with my girlfriend in Southern Africa, and you can better understand my frustration with this limited amount of time to be spent in a day. First world problems, you’re thinking now. And it’s true. Liverpool has embraced and welcomed us all, and I’m welcoming it also. (Although it requires quite some adaptation skill getting used to the wet and cold…)
Upon arrival I was confronted with the Chinese New Year celebration, with crackers and light shows going on all around (China) town. The year of the Rooster! Having only celebrated Chinese new year in Bangkok once, this was quite an experience for me. Apparently the Chinese community is more vast here than back home in the Netherlands. The warmth of the house I share with my elderly landlord and lady and two other LSTM students helped me relax after the long day of walking all about Liverpool centre.
First day in class was all about getting to know LSTM, Liverpool city and last but foremost, each other. In order to get our student ID cards we all had to answer 10 questions about ourselves, our recent career history and future career plans, our motives of studying at LSTM, and hobbies. Especially that last part, putting most emphasis on which music instruments each of us played, was a topic of great interest of Tim O’Dempsey, our director of studies, who inquired, not to say ‘inquisitioned’ us. After class we all went for beer and ping-pong to Roxy’s Ballroom, were we had a chance of getting to know each other even more informally.
After working for more than a year as a public health researcher and junior doctor in the Accidents and Emergency (A&E) department in the Netherlands, and having travelled for the past three months, it is great to be back in school. Looking forward to getting on with the course!