The First Few Days at the Inselspital

HI Everyone,

I just finished up my second day as a research fellow at the Inselspital in Bern, Switzerland. Things have gone well and I have been able to meet a lot of the staff and get a feel for how the hospital is organized.

I arrived in Zurich around 8:00am on Sunday morning after taking the overnight flight from the United States. I was able to take the train from Zurich to Bern where I met Dr. Ziebarth and his daughter Greta for a delicious lunch at an authentic Italian pizzaria. Dr. Ziebarth is a really great guy and I am looking forward to working with him.

After lunch we toured my room in the Personalhaus 3, which is an appartment complex for students and staff at the hospital. The entire complex is beautiful- there are several Personalhaus which are connected by a walking path surrounded by lawns, patios, and trees. Very green and quiet. My room is on the 5th floor, which is the highest, and is connected to a hallway which ends in a balcony overlooking the complex grounds.

That afternoon I walked downtown to watch the Germany-England game with some real German fans. I ended up at the “Bern City Beach” which is an outdoor bar with sand, TVs, boardwalks, and tiki huts all over the place! There were lots of people around to watch the game, which was really exciting because Germany won 4-1. The German announcer was just as entertaining as the English announcers back home as he used his command of American classic rock to brilliant effect. One of the best lines was when he saw Mick Jagger in the English section of the stands and announced to the world that Mick Jagger “can’t get no satisfaktion,” and that it probably wouldn’t be the last time it happens if England plays the mighty Germans again! Then he went on to declare that “the Lion sleeps tonight” in South Africa. It was absolutely hilarious when I suddenly heard these comments sandwiched between two strings of unintelligible German!

On the walk back all the German fans were tearing through the streets in their BMWs and VWs honking their horns and blowing vuvuzelas out the windows. It felt like I was right back in Troy with my brother! I wore my German soccer t-shirt to the game so I got a couple of honks and thumbs-up on the walk home. Now everyone at the hospital is talking about the Germany-Argintina game next Saturday.

The running here is even better than in Ann Arbor. My best run so far was through the Swiss countryside up these huge hills covered with golden wheat fields and grazing cows. All of a sudden the country road dissapeared and turned into a two-track fire road that wound down through the hillside pine forests and back toward the city. I saw all sorts of other trails that I cannot wait to explore.

Monday morning I started work bright and early with Dr. Ziebarth. We attended the pediatric morning conference and he introduced me to everyone in the department. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone better. Then I got a tour of some of the hospital floors while we ordered my badge and keys to the office. In the afternoon I observed a knee arthroscopy procedure and discussed some of the research projects that I will be working on.

Today I attended the morning orthopedic conference with Dr. Ziebarth and met the orthopedics staff. At the Inselspital there is no designated pediatric orthopedics department so Dr. Ziebarth has to constantly go from one clinic to the other. He says in two years there will be a merger and he will be the chief of the first pediatric orthopedic unit within the hospital. We went from the meeting straight to the OR for an operation to correct a really bad wrist fracture. This took the entire morning and then I spent the afternoon looking up patients on the computer to create a list for one of our projects.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everything is going well back home!

Charlie

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