Peking University (China)



Impressions of Peking

  • Sophie Mcleod - medical student from Sydney Medical School, undertook an ILA with Peking University in 2012–13

Sophie Mcleod - medical student from Sydney Medical School, undertook an ILA with Peking University in 2012–13

"I was fortunate enough to spend a month at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing. I was interested to visit China as I wanted to see how the nation's mix of a developing country with advanced technology was reflected in their health care system. I was also intrigued to see how their hospitals dealt with such a large population.

I had only limited exposure to surgery before this placement. Therefore spending two weeks in Gastrointestinal Surgery was extremely beneficial. I was unaware when picking this specialty that China has one of the highest prevalence of gastrointestinal cancers worldwide. Consequently, I had exposure to various different tumours and the process and complications associated with their removal.

I also spent two weeks in Obstetrics. My time was divided between the labour room, theatres watching caesarean sections, outpatients, antenatal ward, ultrasound and amniocentesis. I learnt a lot on this rotation, as there was a group of interns and residents who were very keen to practice their English!

This placement was a great opportunity to not only gain further insight into various specialties, but experience a different health care system. It was interesting to talk to doctors and students about their views of their own health care system, where they believed it needed improvements, and what programs were currently in place (if any) to address this. For example, the current system severely lacks General Practitioners. This places an increased burden on the outpatient clinics, in a country where the size of the population already presents its own complications.

Overall living and studying in Beijing was an enriching academic, cultural and personal experience. I would highly recommend it to other students."