Zaher’s elective experience 2019

In June 2019, Zaher went on his elective to Koc University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey. His experience focused on Cardiology.


“Last summer, I did an elective course in the Cardiology Department in Koc University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey. It was a fascinating experience which uncovered a whole new world in medicine for me. I hope to experience again as soon as possible.

Upon arrival and in the first meeting with my supervisor, we came up with a plan for my rotation in the cardiology department. We wanted to cover as many cardiology clinics as possible.

What I learnt

The outpatient clinics treated a variety of different cases, such as heart failure, valvular heart disease and arrhythmia. After we examined the patients, we discussed each case and formed a treatment plan. These considered all the patient’s details so it could be most effective. In my humble opinion, the biggest influence this clinic had on me was how the patients were dealt with in terms of ethics and medical information disclosure. They emphasised that the patient-centred approach is the cornerstone of the health care delivery. As an example, one seventy years old patient suffered from arrhythmia and wasn’t accepting his treatment plan. The doctor surprisingly showed the patient how the scoring system worked and invited him to find out his own score. This helped persuade him to embrace his treatment.

Zahir Istanbul Doctors

In echocardiography there were numerous cases with positive findings. This included hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, valvular heart diseases and ventricular kinetic abnormalities. In addition to pre-operative assessments, the rotating doctor started with demonstrating the cardiac windows and the cardiac anatomy revealed by the probe in each window. The doctor also taught me to read echocardiography and to identify different pathologies and abnormalities seen in various diseases. The most interesting part in this clinic, as I’d never seen a transesophageal echocardiography.

Another thing I observed was the process of installing a holter for a variety of patients and how to interpret their reports to identify arrhythmias. I saw numerous pathologies such as different degrees of heart blockage, supraventricular tachycardias. 

In the end of this report, I would like to thank you for the amazing opportunity this experience gave me. It allowed me to visit new countries and discover their culture. It also widened my exposure to different treatment methods.”

Read more about the international training placement programme here