Student Stories

My experience in the USA

November 15th, 2022

My name is Emir Sabic. I am a 5th-year medical student in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. From August 12th to September 14th this year, I had the opportunity to visit the United States of America, thanks to my mentor from the Bosana Foundation, dr. Belma Sadikovic. Dr. Sadikovic invited me to her home in Walnut Creek, California, where I spent a month and had an amazing time. She also paid for my 3-week  clinical rotation at St.Mary Clinical Center in San Francisco.

This was my first time flying. My first flight was from Sarajevo to Vienna, and then I flew from Vienna to Los Angeles. When I arrived in LA, I had some problems at the airport. The officers thought that my visa type (tourist) wasn't appropriate because I said I was going to do a medical rotation there. At one point, they almost sent me home. But in the end, everything went fine, and they let me go. After that, I had my third and final flight to San Francisco, where Belma and her family (husband and son) welcomed me.  In the following days, we were getting to know each other. Belma and her family showed me their town, Walnut Creek. It was very clean and beautiful. The people were so kind there. I had a chance to taste so many kinds of food that is not present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The weather was very nice and warm, sometimes even too warm. But I liked it. One day we went to San Francisco. This was an amazing experience. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge, the Piers, the Painted Ladies, Lombard Street, and other sights. The Golden Gate made the biggest impression on me.  This is really a place to see. I was very surprised by how cold San Francisco was. They say it's because it is surrounded by three sides by cold ocean. You can't go there without a jacket, even in August. 

A week after my arrival, my clinical rotation started.  It was at St. Mary's Medical Center in San Francisco, One Shrader Street. Every day I had to take a train/metro (it's called BART there - Bay Area Rapid Transportation) and a bus after that.  On my first day, I met my receptor (mentor), dr. Charles Alisson. He was a very friendly and nice person. And an excellent doctor, too. His specialty was internal medicine.  I learned so much from him. We examined patients together and discussed possible diagnoses and appropriate treatment. I saw some very interesting cases. This really meant a lot to my studies and education.  I had a chance to see how the healthcare system works in the USA and to spot differences between the USA and Bosnia.
But this wasn't all. For two days, I went with Belma to her work. She is a neurologist. She let me do some physical examination and take the patient's history. I liked it so much that I even considered doing a residency in neurology.

I've had a wonderful time in the USA. I've discovered the American lifestyle, I've met American people, and they've all been so nice. I've made new friendships, especially with Belma, her husband Adam, and her son Ben. I can't thank them enough. But I can say they are amazing people, and I'm wishing them all the best.  And, of course, this professional experience I've got will have a great impact on my studies and my professional development.
I'd like to thank Bosana Foundation for connecting Belma and me and helping me in my studies.

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