In April 2004, the BSTTW Medical Internship Program began. BSTTW had been putting the internship program together for 6 months prior to the first internship. We had been in contact with several hospitals and doctors around the world discussing the program and working together to educate our future doctors and helping the current burn victims. Before the process was completed, BSTTW was contacted by Marla Beth Ferschl, a medical student at the University of Chicago, inquiring about the possibility of her and two other students traveling to and interning at a hospital in Viet Nam. BSTTW requested that Ms. Ferschl and her friends complete and send the BSTTW Application,
Bao, Marla, Cong Thien, Nghi, Olivia & Sue Jin
university information and letters of recommendation to BSTTW so we can review each applicant and speak to the hospitals in Viet Nam. After a full review, Michael Appleman, CEO found that all three applicants are exactly the type of students BSTTW is looking for. Mr. Appleman immediately contacted Dr. J. F. Biset at the French-Vietnamese Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. All the documentation was forwarded to Dr. Biset for review. After a full review, Dr. Biset was very interested in the BSTTW Medical Internship Program and having all three students intern at the French-Vietnamese Hospital.
BSTTW informed the students that BSTTW and the French-Vietnamese Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam has accepted all three of them into the BSTTW Medical Internship Program. All three students were very excited and the process of setting up their internship began. BSTTW requested the travel information in order to set up hotel and transportation in Viet Nam. When all the documentations were received, BSTTW contacted Nguyen Cong Thien, the BSTTW Representative in Viet Nam requesting that he set up hotel rooms and met the three students at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Cong Thien & Marla
in Ho Chi Minh City when they arrive.
The students felt very secure and knew that if any issues arose, BSTTW, Cong Thien and Dr. Biset would help explain and resolve the issues.
Olivia Bailey, one of the interns, stated the following about her trip to Viet Nam and interning at the French-Vietnamese Hospital: "I spent my internship working in the Accident and Emergency Department at the French-Vietnamese Hospital. This area featured 5 patient rooms as well as 2 resuscitation rooms. While there, I saw everything from the
common cold to victims of motorbike accidents.
Sue Jin, Olivia & Marla
Patients are must to pay up front for their care. There was an 80 year-old woman with a heart condition requiring a pacemaker. However, her family had to decide if they could afford the 1000 USD for her treatment. This certainly is a great deal of money in the US, let alone in Vietnam. Overall, I was impressed by the top-quality of care the patients received."
During their first night in Viet Nam, the interns spoke with Cong Thien and asked if he would arrange for them to move to a hotel in the main district of Ho Chi Minh City. They thanked Cong Thien for setting up hotel rooms several meters from the hospital, but they wanted to be closer to the main city. Ho Chi Minh City has many different districts. District 1 is in the main part of town and it is a very lively part of town. There are restaurants and hotels and the night life is exciting. Cong Thien set up the new hotel rooms and helped the students move.
The students truly enjoyed their experience in Viet Nam. They not only learned in a hospital setting but also the difference of living in the United States of America and Viet Nam. Marla Ferschl, one of the interns, offers her feelings about the BSTTW Internship Program, the French-Vietnamese Hospital and her trip to Viet Nam, "Overall, our experience was fantastic. It was fascinating to see how medicine is truly an international language that can unite everyone!"