Advice from Sue, on ERASMUS in Plzen!

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Sue is a student in the 5th year of the Dentistry degree at Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera.

Following her return from ERASMUS in  Plzen, I had the opportunity to chat to her and ask her a few questions about her experience.  This is what she had to say…

1. What’s your name, how old are you and what are you studying?

Shu-Wen Chen, 28 years old. Dentistry.

UCHCEU Dentistry students in the dental clinic
UCHCEU Dentistry students treating a patient in the Dental Clinic

2. Where did you go during your exchange and why did you choose that university and city/country?

The Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Plsen, Czech Republic.

Plzen town centre with historic buildings
Photo of Plzen town centre

3. What was the reason you wanted to go for ERASMUS in Plzen?

To see and learn more in different system and culture plus to enjoy life (I bet students here will understand what I am talking about)!

4. What do you think you have learned during your ERASMUS in Plzen, that you probably would not have learned had you not gone (academically or personally)?

During my visit to Charles University, we learned and interned in a big hospital. In CEU, the type of patient we meet depends on our fate. However, in Charles University, subjects/patients are divided according to different departments, so dentistry students are able to meet different types of case. However, students do not have individual dental box, which is annoying.

Oral surgery 

First of all, classes took place in operation rooms, so that big surgeries can be seen/participated, such as OSCC, submandibular gland removal, Le Fort fracture fixation, mesioden extraction, rare diseases, operations under general anesthesia for handicapped patients, microscopic surgery among others.

Patient and surgeons in operating theater
Operating theater with surgeons and patient

Pediatrics

Secondly, I think students are less independent, but various cases can be seen there (i.e. ranula, glossalankylosis). In the hospital, patients that bachelor students can handle are not screened out, so there are lots of uncooperative children in the clinic, and students can have a difficult time dealing with them. Hence skills cannot be improved in pediatrics there but knowledge can be increased. Therefore, all our experiences are double-edge swords.

Yellos pediatric dentistry signboard
Pediatric dentistry signboard

Dental Therapeutics and Pathology

I managed to adapt to different environmental conditions and different materials and methods.  It is interesting to learn how to be a dentist under such conditions.

State of the art dental materials
Working with state of the art dental materials

Orthodontics

Students in Plzen must attend practical sessions whereas in CEU we don’t have to. As a result, I managed to see a greater range of cases.  In CEU we practice more in preclinic and seminars (I find this is very useful too). Thus, it’s very important to acquire good knowledge in CEU in order to know what is happening when seeing real cases.

Orthodontic treatments and their results
The before and after of orthodontic treatment

Prosthetics

At Charles University, we attended emergency clinics and so we did not have a lot of prosthetics experience.  We mainly did denture adjustments, some emergency treatments, or fillings. Fortunately, Erasmus students can arrange their own clinic schedule.

A series of dental prosthetics arranged in a row
Dental prostheses arrannged on a display board

5. Do you think your exchange can be useful for you in your future working life? In what way?

Absolutely, yes. I have learned and seen so much from my experience!

6. With the experience you now have, is there anything you would have done differently?

Before I went there, I was interested in doing oral surgery. And now, I am very interested in being a maxillofacial surgeon (Haha, I don’t know. They are so cool.).

7. What would you want to say to students thinking about going?

Don’t hesitate, just go!

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