Erasmus + Success Stories

Zlatko KostadinovFaculty of MedicineOutgoing Student

Zlatko's impressions from Hiroshima University


Erasmus+ Period: 17/04/2019 – 17/07/2019

Hello, everybody!

My name is Zlatko Kostadinov. I am 5th grade medical student from Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. I had the opportunity to visit Japan on exchange via “Erasmus+ exchange Programme”. I am so glad that I choose Japan because it is a great country and I had once in a lifetime experience there! For Bulgarian people, Japan is famous for being very traditional, cultural and organized country. We think of Japanese people as very hardworking, strict, always following the rules. Most of these came to be true. But they also are amazing people and know how to have fun. In Japan, Bulgaria is very famous for YOGURT. I was surprised how popular is our milk there. They even have a brand for yogurt called “Bulgaria”. The second most popular thing is our famous, and maybe only one Bulgarian sumo wrestler Kotooshu. Usually when I say to some Japanese that I am from Bulgaria, their reaction was “O-o-o-o Yogurtoo!”.

So let’s focus on my stay in Japan. I arrived in Hiroshima after 20 hours’ flight and changed 3 planes. Actually we are 2 Bulgarians coming to Japan and we were flying together on this day. Our accommodation is International House; it is just next to Hiroshima Station. It is a great place for foreign students and will definitely recommend it. Even on the first day here I came to know that bicycle is very useful here, so after 2 days I already bought one – second hand for only 6 000 yen. And the University Hospital is just 10 minutes by bicycle from my place.

My first department was Hematology. I stayed there for 2 weeks. They treat me so kindly there. I saw many patients with leukemia, lymphomas. I witnessed stem cell transplantation. And as a first department, I was amazed with the hospital and the facilities. I also visited the ICU and SICU early in the first week because this is my main interest. In Bulgaria I am working part-time as a ICU nurse and I want to compare between my country and here. There are not so many different things apart from the fact that there are many more nurses here, which is great.

Second department was Gastroenterologic and Transplant Surgery. It was a long journey there. I stayed for 1 month. I met many new people. We went out a lot and it was fun. I was able to attend pancreas transplantation, kidney transplantation and other very interesting cases – liver resections, bower resections, gastectomies. As long as this is University Hospital, they don’t perform routine procedures such as hernias and appendectomy, so most of the cases are complicated. I also saw robotic surgery used for rectal cancer. Most of the surgeries were laparoscopic. Professor Ohdan is running the department and he is a great professional in his work either as a surgeon and immunologist. After that I was part of Endocrinology department. 2 weeks there. I met very nice and interesting people. Many patients with diabetes, we were discussing treatment options. I also attend Adrenal Vein Sampling, tried to do Thyroid echo. It was good but not so interesting for me though, as I am not so interested in Internal medicine. They brought me to try some traditional Japanese dishes. The time passed very quickly.

On to the next one – Urology. Great people, amazing professional. I was there for 2 weeks and learned a lot about this specialty. Of course I experienced robotic and laparoscopic surgeries as long as many diagnostic procedures such as cystoscopy, MRI fusion prostate biopsy and others. Had a great time there. And finally and maybe most wanted department for me – Anesthesiology (Masuika). I stayed there for 2 weeks, my last 2 weeks in Japan. Even before being officially in this department I had already met some of the stuff there – Dr.Niinai, Dr.Urabe, Dr. Kikuchi and others. I was really interested in their work and what are they doing. I observed many epidural and spinal anesthesia. I watched placing CVP, SGC, arterial line, intubations although I am part of this procedures in my hospital in Bulgaria but still good experience for me. I learned about the drugs and doses and about PCA. I was surprised how many regional blocks they are doing here. It was new for me and I learned a lot. People in this department are GREAT. I was fascinated. I mean they are so kind, friendly, funny, open-minded, and a real professional. Some of them even invited me to meet their families. It was amazing and I even made friends here.

In the end I want to give my special thanks to some of the doctors in Masuika – Dr. Urabe, Dr.Myoshi, Dr.Niinai , Dr.Kikuchi , Dr. Saeki , Dr. Kamiya.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I hope I can meet some of you in Bulgaria – You are all invited!

And also I want to thank Professor Takahashi and the whole Cardiovascular department for being so nice and treating me very kindly and friendly