Ana Morelló: Hello, Miguel. How are you?

Miguel Barrio: Very good, thanks. How are you, Ana? How’s dermatology going?

AM: Great, thank you. The truth is that I’m very happy. I recently returned from doing a rotation in New York. You’ve also done a rotation abroad, right?

MB: Yes. What hospital were you in?

AM: I was at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in the Anatomical Pathology Department. There, they mainly focus on tumours, both carcinomas and melanomas. But they also go further, analysing lymphomas, biopsies, and adverse skin reactions from other types of non-skin cancers. The rotation was very interesting. And you, what were you doing?

Dr. Morelló, during her rotation in New York, visiting Central Park and the General Grant National Memorial.

MB: Well, I was in Florida, in Jacksonville, a city to the north. One of the main Mayo Clinic institutes is located there. Specifically, I did a rotation in neuroradiology and whole body interventions. This was thanks to a professor who came to the University to teach neuroradiology classes and who was our contact. When I was there, I met great professionals who helped me learn a lot about our profession in a centre that sees much more complex diseases and where people from all over the world come to get second opinions and to get treated.

AM: And was the rotation as you had expected?  

MB: I think the way their specialists treat patients is very different, in addition to the fact that the way their health system works is also completely different. But then, on the other hand, the way of administering care, the technologies available, and types of healthcare provision found there seemed quite similar to me. In the end, there’s not that much difference..

AM: Yes, it’s true that the way of working is quite similar. There, the difference was mainly with the fellows. They looked at the biopsies and, afterwards, always went over the most interesting samples with the attending. Hey, would you give any specific advice to anyone who wanted to do a rotation abroad? 

“If you have the opportunity to go abroad for a rotation, you should take advantage of it. It’s an opportunity that you don’t get everywhere and won’t always want to do, depending on what’s going on in your life”
Dr. Ana Morelló

Dermatology resident

MB: I honestly think it’s easier than it seems. What I recommend is planning and time. That is, doing things with plenty of time, because they usually ask for your vaccination status, about any criminal records, and your history of tuberculosis, and so on. 

And you, what do you think is important to consider if a resident wants to do a rotation abroad? 

AM: I think the most important thing about these rotations is having fluent language, because in the end, you’re going to be with people you don’t know at all and if you can’t speak well with them and can’t understand each other, it can make things quite complicated for you. But it’s also true that you have to take the plunge and if you have the opportunity to go abroad for a rotation, you should take advantage of it. It’s an opportunity that you don’t get everywhere and won’t always want to do, depending on what’s going on in your life.

MB: For example, I wouldn’t recommend going on a rotation to the United States at the beginning of your residency. I’d advise going at the end, in the last two years.

“When I was there, I met great professionals who helped me learn a lot about our profession”
Dr. Miguel Barrio

Radiodiagnostic resident

AM: Yes, when you already know more and can benefit more from what you’re seeing. 

MB: That’s right, you can take advantage of what you’re seeing and can even contribute.  

AM: That’s right, yes. In addition, you also realise what you need to learn there, and how you can pass it on later on when you’re back.

Dr. Morelló walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most famous bridges in New York.

MB: That’s right. And know what you have to pay attention to and then pass on that knowledge. Not so much academic or clinical, but more about organisation or management in our centre.

AM: Totally. By the way, I don’t know if you’ve thought about what you’re going to do when you finish your residency? Since we’re in our last year.

MB: I’ve thought about it, but every time I think about it, I have less of an idea of what I’m going to do. I think a good tip is to take advantage of the opportunity and obtain a letter of recommendation. Do your best to give a good impression, and with that, you might be able to go back later to become a fellow there. Although this is increasingly difficult given that they’re more restrictive there because people from all over the world want to go and do their residency in the United States.

AM: I think that in the end, we still have almost a year ahead of us. So, I almost prefer to focus on what we’re experiencing right now and then, in the summer, we can think. 

MB: I agree with you, Ana.  

Residentes por el mundo

Text:
Almudena Calonge
Photography:
Manuel Castells

Este artículo ha sido publicado por la Clínica Universidad de Navarra en la revista Noticias.cun.