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  1. #1
    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    Royal Blackburn Hospital

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    I just received word that I will be doing cores at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in the UK. Has anyone on this board ever rotated there before? If so, care to share your experiences?

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    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    Bump.

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    Jackoo is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    at RBH right now, but will be gone in 5 weeks.
    why did you choose this hospital? there are many more sites in London and more AUC students as well.

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    DocSAMMD is offline Senior Member 521 points
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    its cheap and very easy site. the one friend i know that went there loved it and because of all of the free time studied well for her boards and destroyed step 2. This offsets the stigma the UK will have on your resume. Programs want USCE so make sure u do the core u cant stand there like OBGYN and get back the US asap. PLus thanks to AUC grads going to the UK say bye bye Cali and trying to get your LORS in time.

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    georgelucas45 is offline Senior Member 545 points
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    UK rotations count as greenbook dawg, CA is still in play.

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    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    All of AUC's UK core rotations are greenbook, as GeorgeLucas said - so the California thing is a non-issue.

    As for why I "chose" to come to Blackburn - this was not in my top choices. I asked my advisor about the possibility of going to Kingston, Epsom, and Ealing & was told that Kingston and Epsom were most likely available. A couple weeks later, I received my assignment of Blackburn & was told that I could either accept it, or forfeit the assignment, causing a "significantly delay" in my clinical start-date - possibly for months.

    So, naturally, I took the assignment and went with it .

    This being said...

    My wife and I have been in Blackburn for a few days now and we love it here. We have found a spacious two-bedroom apartment with gated electronic entry for $850 per month (much cheaper and nicer than the Campus Village apartment we had in St. Maarten). We are withing walking distance of everything, so we don't even need public transportation.

    There is a store called ASDA, which is owned by Wal-Mart - which has many items on par with (if not cheaper than) they are in the US. There are several other smaller grocery stores in town which sell discounted items.

    I start rotations on Monday, so I will write back with my experiences as time allows
    Last edited by Slaol; 10-20-2010 at 07:35 AM.

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    sandyjay is offline Member 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaol_121 View Post
    All of AUC's UK core rotations are greenbook, as GeorgeLucas said - so the California thing is a non-issue.

    As for why I "chose" to come to Blackburn - this was not in my top choices. I asked my advisor about the possibility of going to Kingston, Epsom, and Ealing & was told that Kingston and Epsom were most likely available. A couple weeks later, I received my assignment of Blackburn & was told that I could either accept it, or forfeit the assignment, causing a "significantly delay" in my clinical start-date - possibly for months.

    So, naturally, I took the assignment and went with it .

    This being said...

    My wife and I have been in Blackburn for a few days now and we love it here. We have found a spacious two-bedroom apartment with gated electronic entry for $850 per month (much cheaper and nicer than the Campus Village apartment we had in St. Maarten). We are withing walking distance of everything, so we don't even need public transportation.

    There is a store called ASDA, which is owned by Wal-Mart - which has many items on par with (if not cheaper than) they are in the US. There are several other smaller grocery stores in town which sell discounted items.

    My wife and I are getting SKY satellite/internet/telephone with free calls to the US for a little over 35 pounds per month for the package. There is a 2gb usage limit on the internet, but this can be upgraded to unlimited for around 7 pounds more. There is a small setup/installation fee of 30 pounds, but it is a much better deal than the mobile usb sticks that they sell in the electronic shops.

    I start rotations on Monday, so I will write back with my experiences as time allows
    Waiting to know how your rotations are going on. Please let us know there are some of us who are looking at UK rotations and would greatly benefit from your posts By the way why are rotations at Kingston, Epsom etc more desirable Is it the clinical/teaching experience or the living conditions, transport, social life and weather ?

  8. #8
    tenordoc is offline Member 515 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyjay View Post
    Waiting to know how your rotations are going on. Please let us know there are some of us who are looking at UK rotations and would greatly benefit from your posts By the way why are rotations at Kingston, Epsom etc more desirable Is it the clinical/teaching experience or the living conditions, transport, social life and weather ?
    Blackburn is in a wonderful area, but it 3 hours from London, and about an hour from Liverpool or Manchester. So if you're into the rural thing, it can be great.

    The students I knew who were at Blackburn didn't have any complaints about the teaching environment.

    Kingston, Epsom, etc. are very close to London, which is one of the world's great cities, and really cool to explore.
    Suffering is optional.

  9. #9
    Jackoo is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Best thing about RBH is that it is cheap, rent is at least 1/2 of what you pay in London.
    Traveling can get quite frustrating if you plan to do a lot of them, 3hr to both London and Edinburgh on the fast train, costs ~45 return trip w/ student discount.
    Good teachings while the local students are around, you are free to join any of their teachings, or the Jr. doc's teachings, and Grand Rounds.
    Consultants are fairly lax, and will allow you to be excused for teachings or whatever.
    Weather is pretty bad here, and no real entertainment around. You could take the train to Preston or Manchester for that though.
    Too few AUC students come here, so be prepared for that. Or you can invite other to come w/.
    That's all I can think of at the moment.

  10. #10
    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    (Updated 10/20/10)

    PROS:

    1. Blackburn is cheap - groceries are not much more than back home (certainly much cheaper than St. Maarten). Some things (cheeses, certain produce) are cheaper than they are in the US.

    2. The people are friendly in the North of England - a fact that they pride themselves on.

    3. The hospital allows a lot of hands-on training, but you have to ask for it. Right now I am doing Cardiology as part of IM & have learned how to take blood, canulation, run EKGs. I have also been asked to perform several Cardiology examinations and do patient histories. I've also been able to sit in on Angiography and observe pacemaker and cardiac stenting operations. ( obviously, as this is my first rotation, I have no way of knowing how this compares to doing the same rotation in the US)

    4. The schedule is great. We have weekends off & no nights. Most days we start at 8:30 and are finished by 4 or 5.

    5. I've found several good pubs with some excellent local ales and beers. A pint of draft ale costs 1.80 - 2.00.

    6. Three words: Fish and Chips.

    7. As a resident in Blackburn, you can sign up for a card that grants you free access to several gyms and fitness centers around the area. There is a really nice place called the "Waves and Fun Centre" that has several swimming pools, a jacuzzi, and a fairly decent gym that you can use for free.

    CONS

    1. My wife is finding it very difficult to find work in Blackburn (something to consider if you are a married student thinking about coming here). There are several babysitting opportunities available in the city - however, you have to be registered with a "nanny agency" and undergo background checks. Even volunteering at the hospital takes [literally] an act of congress - as there is a 3 month waiting period after you apply so that they can run background checks and other screenings.

    2. There are whole grading systems for diagnosing patients and determining treatment avenues used by the NHS that aren't used in the United States. Learning these, and other slight differences in naming/classifying diseases and procedures has been a small challenge.

    3. If you do rotations in the UK, you are expected to travel to Kingston at the end of every rotation to take you NBME subject examination. Trains from Blackburn to Kingston can be quite expensive (see #5).

    4. Most credit cards and debit cards in the UK now have these ID microchips embedded in them, instead of the magnetic strips used by cards in the US. Some grocery stores are incapable of reading the US cards at all - and some will require you to get manager approval before they will accept your debit card as payment. This, as you can imagine, can be quite frustrating if there is a long line of people behind you.

    5. As I said before, it is quite expensive to travel anywhere outside of Blackburn. London is 3 hours away by train, and tickets cost anywhere from 30 - 70, depending on when you book them --> meaning that it takes a lot more planning to travel anywhere. As a medical student, you can sign up for their student railcard for 26, which gives you a discount of 30-50% off of selected train fares.

    6. Getting internet in the UK is a royal pain in the butt. We signed up for sky broadband on 10/04/10 and were given a scheduled activation date of mid-November - and, because of some sort of regulation, this is the earliest we can get it at our apartment. I can still go to the hospital and use their computer lab, but the computers are very slow & the NHS has it loaded down with resource-sucking keyloggers and other tracking software (better than nothing).




    ---- I'll update as I progress through clinicals
    Last edited by Slaol; 10-20-2010 at 07:37 AM.

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