Meeting ASIRI hospital and a birthday surprise!
2020-05-29

Tuesday 28th January

There are two sorts of people in the world, those that brush their teeth before breakfast and those who brush their teeth after breakfast. I prefer to get ready and brush my teeth, go to breakfast and then go. Therefore, I arrived later than my colleagues for breakfast, this led to me missing out on a pleasant surprise for one of our group. It was Dr Christine Kay’s (our undergraduate curriculum manager) birthday, and it appears that the thoughtful team at the hotel noticed this from her passport and prepared a birthday cake for her. Sitting with Professor Rona Patey (Director of the Institute of Education for Medical and Dental Sciences), the staff proceeded to sing happy birthday to her in front of all the other guests! By the time I arrived I could see a beaming Dr Kay with her chocolate coated breakfast birthday cake, this was the first time she would be celebrating her birthday……

Obviously Dr Kay’s birthday was not the only reason we flew halfway around the world. The General Medical Council (GMC) had attended for a routine visit of the places, facilities and people that would be looking after the SLMP students for their 4th and 5th year in Colombo. This provided me with a good opportunity to visit Asiri Central Hospital,one of three large hospitals run by the Asiri group in Colombo. They have also recently opened one in nearby Kandy. The equipment, facilities and specialties are very comprehensive in the hospital.

The wards were well organised and had extremely well presented and efficient staff, I was tempted to unbutton my top button and loosen my tie with the heat but would have felt too scruffy in this company. I couldn’t take pictures of the ward with patients so here is a picture of their eating hall which is equipped with supermarkets and restaurants and a multi storey ceiling!

I got to meet some of the team who will be looking after and teaching the SLMP students. They were enthusiastic, very knowledgeable and keen for the students to come to Colombo. It will be good to work with them in the coming months and years.

Another surprise was a request to film some of us talking about the SLMP. Being in front of a camera is very different to being in front of a lecture theatre. It is safe to say that I was going to be offering no competition to this year’s Oscar nominees!

It had been a hard day, so we have a relaxing evening meal at the hotel. Now you may have wondered what happened to that breakfast birthday cake (after all I had just brushed my teeth!). The hotel staff kindly saved it and it was promptly brought out after our meal. Here is a picture of Dr Kay cutting into her birthday cake.

Published by The School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen

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