Hafa adai from orthopedics in Guam, USA!

“Tito (uncle), that man has a limp on his left foot, what do you think is the possible cause?”

And so starts our lecture over lunch at the Hilton hotel, about different causes of asymmetrical limb lengths, ending with the classification of the different types of scoliosis and how to treat it.

Right now, I’m in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a tropical island called Guam, which is a territory of the United States. (I know you were wondering where Guam is). I’m here for a three-week external orthopaedic placement with my granduncle-in-law, who is the local orthopedic surgeon in the region. I’m currently staying with him and my grandaunt (my grandmother’s youngest sister) at their house and am following my granduncle whenever he goes to work. It’s basically a mixture of vacation with work which I like to call, workcation. There is no better kind.

Since I was younger, I’ve grown up knowing of the many great things my granduncle has achieved throughout his career. I cannot even begin to describe how honoured and fortunate I feel to now be a part of it as his pupil. The generations of doctors in my medical family are now meeting. From breakfast lectures and handouts to clinic and surgeries, and finally ending the day with yet another dinner lecture. Everyday here in Guam has been countless learning opportunities in orthopaedics, and no time has gone to waste. Even the short car drives.

So you may be asking, how am I liking it so far? Well, I’m loving every bit of it, and somehow studying actually became fun now. I’m getting more and more tanned, bigger (no student diet here no) but definitely learning. I often reflect on how I ended up to be so fortunate with such amazing opportunities in life, but all I can do is be grateful.

This week I will be with Dr. Landström (yes, he is Swedish – what are the chances!) the local hand surgeon of the island, to have a greater diversity of cases within orthopaedics. Hand surgery cases that is. Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing my first hand surgery with him, and I better be on top with my anatomy. Like my granduncle, he is a very well-respected and experienced doctor too, who even has worked in Afghanistan. So to be on his good side, I better get back to studying, my break is over.

Hafa adai (the local greeting here which is pronounced half-a-day) from Guam! I promise to be back to write more about medicine and life here on the island. Until next time! 🙂

Just another day with me and my knee (model) at Guam Orthopedic Clinic 🏥

A post shared by Sam (@samvsworld) on

Self-development and forensic medicine in two weeks

So I’m currently on the plane to Tokyo, and thank God they’re offering wifi on this plane. Blog time!

These past two weeks, I’ve been with my T9 class (semester 9) for our theory weeks. This theory block is called Folkhälsa och Förhållningssätt (FoF), which basically is all the other parts of medicine which doesn’t involve any actual medicine like physiology and anatomy etc. These past two weeks, were devoted to self-development, forensic medicine and social medicine/public health.

The first week started with a three-day retreat at Vårdnäs, all paid for and provided by the medical school of course. Half of us in the class were divided into smaller groups with classmates who we don’t know at all. Together we learnt new leadership techniques and shared deep personal things with each other. Why is this necessary to become a doctor you might wonder? The explanation was this: patients entrust their deepest and most personal secrets to complete strangers, doctors, us, and the only way we can understand this if we do it ourselves. Then we know how patients feel when they visit doctors, and hopefully, with a better understanding of how they feel, we can in turn improve in our patient contact and as doctors. The first day basically began with a tough 30min presentation of ourselves to our group mates. Difficult, as we are not used to opening up to such personal things to strangers. However, who knew that would be an opening to something very special. 

The second day we learnt about the different leadership profiles. I turned out to be a “yellow” profile aka a motivator. I recommend you all to do that test too, and from there you can understand what kind of person I am with my profile. The rest of the days were based on building on what we know about our leadership profiles and each other. At the end of the three days, we went home having warm and fuzzy memories from our time there. We also most probably gained weight as they gave us delicious food five times a day. All worth it.

The following days after the retreat, all the lectures spoke about inequalities in health as well as forensic medicine. I didn’t think I would be so sensitive to these things, but really, after seeing images of murder and rape and hearing gruesome stories of real life crimes, unfortunately these images reappeared in my dreams. After the lecture series, we even had the opportunity to visit the morgue. This side of medicine I never prepared myself for, but this a reality that is very real for us doctors and everyone around us too. Which unfortunately I believe we will encounter in one form or another in the future. At least now I’m better prepared.

In summary, it’s been a tough two weeks, but very nourishing indeed. Tough personally and also tough as the lecture topics were hard to chew. I guess I can’t expect my last two weeks with my semester 9 class to be all fun and games. My next theory block will be with my semester 8 class on the same theme but until then, Orthopaedics in Guam here I come! 😁

The Papal visit in Sweden

After five amazing days in Skåne, I’m back in Linköping. Now that I’m back, I have finally had the time to reflect about the amazing and historical experience I was so fortunate to be a part of. The chance to be able to see the Pope in your own country is already special as it is, but to be able to witness this in the context of the Catholic and Lutheran church taking its first step towards unity, now that is special beyond words. After 500 years of conflict.

However as many misconceptions lead, we are NOT celebrating the Reformation. The Reformation made a tear in the Christian family worldwide, where countless suffered as a consequence in the generations to come. A tragedy we do not forget, but commemorate this weekend. We remember and forgive all that has happened between the two churches, and focus on mending this tear. Rather than focusing on our differences, we focus on what unites the two churches together which is our common Love for Jesus Christ. And with Love, everything is possible.

I thank all those I met from the Swedish and Catholic church during the ecumenical youth meeting this weekend, and of course those who organised it. I hope to see you all again soon, and hope that we have more activities together in the future!

For the first time ever, my friends and I were put in focus because we are Catholic. For the first time, people have an interest in the way we act and think because of our faith. I’m happy to be able to for the first time share this in the media both at home and also around the world.

So amidst all the election frenzy and conflicts in the Middle East, here are a few TV shows I managed to be a part of from the past few days! 🙂

America Magazine:

Aftonbladet from 9:03 onwards: http://tv.aftonbladet.se/abtv/articles/201298

SVT Aktuellt from 29:38 onwards: http://www.svtplay.se/video/10820257/aktuellt/aktuellt-31-okt-21-00