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From left: Prof Lionel Green-Thompson, Ms Magda Henrico and Mr Sebastian Grimm

Mr. Sebastian Grimm a fifth year student from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria arrived in South Africa to do an elective at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. His elective was
spread over three months, with his first month spent in Psychiatry, the second and third months in Paediatrics, as well as Anaesthesiology in that order.

In these three months spent in the country, he came into contact and worked with psychiatric patients at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital where he got acquainted to bipolar, schizophrenia and depression cases.

While based at the Paediatric ward at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital where his focus was now on children presen􀀷ng with Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, working with other students, Mr. Grimm was able to amongst other things prepare briefing notes to doctors. Furthermore, the student was also exposed to young patients with heart conditions.

Remarking on his whole experience he said, “the whole elective programme was awesome. It was very interesting to observe how operations are carried out in South Africa. The doctors are well trained to deal with all kinds of emergencies. They do not let inadequate facili􀀷es discourage them. They always know how to make up for such inadequacies. They are well rounded and resourceful professionals”, emphasized Grimm.

Grimm said that he was very grateful for the opportunity afforded him to have professional interactions with the patients who confided in him about their health issues. As he prepared to leave, he thanked the staff and students of SMU who were very warm and helpful to him, as a foreign student. The perceptions he had that South Africa is unsafe have been debunked and that is the message he will spread in his country Germany.