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Students from Lisbon's NOVA Medical School, report on their internship at Mildmay


Six students from Nova Medical School Lisbon with Mildmay staff
Back row: Kattya, Betsy, Obi, Charles and Marion, with both cohorts of the 2024 NOVA student interns.


For the third consecutive year, two groups of final-year students from the Nutrition Sciences degree course at  NOVA Medical School (Lisbon, Portugal) completed a unique internship at Mildmay Hospital in London as part of their academic studies.


Warmly welcomed by the specialist multidisciplinary team (MDT) and all the staff at Mildmay, the students carried out several individual projects to develop and enhance the nutritional care of the patients. As with previous intakes of interns from NOVA Medical School, they also shadowed Dr Kattya Mayre Chilton PhD RD, Mildmay's Specialist Dietitian, to understand better the nutritional care of patients from our HIV, Homeless and REBUILD pathways.


For Matilde, one of the participants, "the opportunity to work alongside professionals who are not only experts in their fields but also passionate about their work was truly invaluable".

Aamilah, another of the participants, says that the experience left "an indelible mark" on her growth, "becoming an unforgettable chapter" in her journey.

 

Many thanks to Dr Mayre Chilton, Specialist Dietitian at Mildmay Hospital, and Prof. Filomena Gomes, Assistant Professor at NOVA Medical School, for organising this internship, which enables the Portuguese students to benefit from an international experience and exposure to the NHS in the UK before graduation, deepening their understanding of nutrition and global health and gaining new knowledge and skills.


 

INTERNSHIP REPORT

Group 1



In March 2024, we were fortunate to have the unique opportunity to work as interns at Mildmay Hospital in London. The healthy and prosperous relationship established between Nova Medical School and Mildmay was what made this experience possible. The internship allowed us to understand the reality of the national health system in England (NHS), the role of dietitians and in what aspects it differs from Portugal’s health system.


First, we extend our deepest thanks to Dr Filomena Gomes and Dr Kattya Mayre-Chilton for granting us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in such a dynamic and enriching environment at Mildmay Hospital. All the staff welcomed us into their lovely ‘home’ and helped to make it feel like our own for ten days. We were always guided in our tasks, though there was a lot of independence, which allowed us to grow as future dietitians and be more prepared for the responsibilities and challenges of the job.


This internship allowed us to learn new skills, improve our English, and develop our social skills in a foreign country. We also got to visit London which was a trip we will never forget. Whether strolling through Hyde Park, browsing the markets of Camden Town, or taking in the view from the London Eye, every moment spent outside of the internship offered new insights and unforgettable memories.


Working alongside my two colleagues made the experience even more enjoyable, as we collaborated and learned from each other every step of the way. Together, we navigated the intricacies of healthcare practices, forming bonds that enriched both our professional and personal lives.


At Mildmay, we developed a survey for the patients staying at the hospital. With the data collected during our time at the hospital, we wrote three reports “Audit on Meal Service at Mildmay Hospital”, “Audit on Food Safety and Frozen Meals at Mildmay Hospital”, “Patient Understanding of Sustainability at Mildmay Mission Hospital” and one of us also created an eco-friendly and seasonal Winter Menu.


In closing, we want to express our gratitude to everyone who made this internship experience possible. Whether through sharing their expertise or simply sharing a friendly smile. As we take forward the lessons learned and memories gained from our time in London, we do so with a sense of gratitude and optimism for the future. Thank you all so much.


 

INTERNSHIP REPORT

Group 2



From the 26th of February until the 16th of March 2023, two groups of final year Nutrition Sciences degree students from NOVA Medical School (Lisbon) had the opportunity to enrol on a curricular internship at Mildmay Mission Hospital (London), which is responsible for the rehabilitation of patients from 3 different pathways: HIV, detox and homeless.


Despite being a short-term experience, it’s barely possible to describe everything we’ve learned in a few short paragraphs. For 10 days, we were allowed contact with a different reality from the one we have in Portuguese hospitals and thus broadened our horizons to another reality.


From the very first "good morning", as we came into the hospital, all the staff made us feel at home while teaching us the true meaning of working in a multidisciplinary team, and its importance in healthcare provision units.

 

Our group had the opportunity to join the Specialist Dietitian carrying out a Nutritional Risk Screening audit, with which it was possible to contact directly with the patients. We were also challenged to review a Frailty Screening Protocol to implement at Mildmay Mission Hospital, with the contribution of specialist professionals from different areas, including physiotherapy, psychology and social work. Our experience became even more complete with the possibility of participating in the weekly MDT meeting, and taking part in occupational therapy activities, helping patients improve their cooking skills, for their subsequent reintegration into society.


This internship was, therefore, a vital experience for our professional and personal futures, from which we will take innumerable memories from the moments lived together and with Mildmay Hospital staff.

 

Special mention to the city that embraced us, London, full of life and amazing spots to discover: every day after work we would go out to different street shows, beautiful rainy gardens, mesmerising architecture and kind people.

 

We are grateful for everything we lived and everyone we met, with a particular mention to Doctor Kattya who so kindly guided us. We definitely had the best time!



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