Biomedical Pathways in Stockholm

I am sadly entering my last week in Stockholm. My time abroad has been an awesome and memorable experience! Through conversations with my instructors and learning about clinical tools in this class, I have seen a new perspective on medicine. My experiences in the Biomedical Lab have helped me confirm my desire to go to medical school following undergrad at my home university.

This course is taught in 3 separate buildings that each cover one unit.

  1. DIS Stockholm: Here, we worked on the biometrics unit. We learned about and practiced different diagnostic measures such as heart rate, eye tracking, EKG, and more. We also practiced how to use these measures in a research study.
  2. Karolinska Institutet Solna: Here, we worked on the immunology unit through wet labs. We practiced several lab techniques such as agarose gel electrophoresis, bacterial transformation, transfection, etc. to determine which sample contained DNA with a tumorous mutation.
  3. Karolinska Institutet Flemingsberg: Here, we completed the molecular biology unit. We had more wet labs and a few lectures. We analyzed the expression of an estrogen receptor in a human breast carcinoma cell line when treated with a certain hormone. We studied the expression using PCR, qPCR, and western blot analysis among other techniques.

Our teachers have been outstanding and extraordinary to talk with about academics and life here. Sometimes, we would have long wet lab days and have to wait hours for a gel to finish or for something to incubate. Normally, waiting around and having free time may have been boring, but our instructors were super friendly and open to talking with us! They gave us advice about restaurants and attractions to check out, told us about their careers, and enthusiastically answered all of our questions. Our instructors come from several backgrounds, including medical doctors and PhDs who lead their own research groups, so they were able to give us a variety of career advice. Their friendliness made this class very fun each day.

I’ve loved having the opportunity to learn practical clinical skills that will help me as I plan to find a job in a hospital/clinic next semester. So far I have learned how to find heart rate and blood pressure, perform finger prick tests to get blood samples, perform IV insertions and EKGs, and also use eye tracking and galvanic skin response software! Its also been cool to learn about diagnostic measures that can uncover diseases at the molecular level like looking at blood cells under a microscope.

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