Elective Inspo

Electives Inspo: Paediatric Cardiology in Vietnam

Cardiology in Vietnam (2018)


Cho Ray Hospital, Vietnam


Paediatric Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and ICU. You spend time with both the medical team of paediatric intensivists and a surgical team

How did you organise?

Emailed: training.crtd@gmail.com


Hospital fee: 2 000 000 VND/ week (~£65)
Visa: ~£100 (depends on whether you get a multiple entry visa)
Accommodation: can get cheap airbnbs near the hospital
Transport: I was able to get funding from my university which helped a lot for flights (~£600) Grab taxis (like Uber) to district 1 cost ~£2.50 (can get the bus or motorbike taxis for less)
Food: can easily eat for less than £8/day.
The canteen was very cheap:

  • Main meal in the hospital: £1
  • Veggie meal in the hospital: 15p
  • Iced coffee: 30p
  • Breakfast baguette and fried eggs: 50p


Describe a typical day

6:45 – breakfast in the canteen
7:00 – morning meeting
7:30 – see surgery, examine pre-op patients, spend time in ICU, go to the cath lab
11:30 – go to the canteen and meet up with the other elective students
12:30 – go home
12:30 – sightsee/ meet up with the others

NB: your time is your own and you can come to the hospital whenever you want. I chose to come early, so I knew what was happening on the day and could still have a productive day, while having quite a bit of the day left as free time. 

What was the best part?

Lots of other elective students! You have a good social life and there is plenty to do in HCMC.

Medicine wise, there is a lot of pathology to see and patients present a lot later, which creates its own challenges. It was great being able to see both the medical and surgical side. The doctors put in effort to teach you and get you involved. They also invited me on the monthly department trip, but unfortunately, I was unable to go.

What was the worst part?

The language barrier between both staff and patients. It is manageable and the doctors are patient enough to keep trying to explain until you understand. I managed to take “histories” from teenagers with the help of google translate.

Travelling & Exploring

Your days are really productive in the hospital so you have the rest of the day to do whatever you like. We also travelled around Vietnam on the weekends as the flights were quite cheap.
Things we did included:
– Ha Long Bay
– Hanoi
– Hue
– Floating Markets and the Mekong Delta and Can Tho
– Hoi An, Da Nang, Da Lat
– Bus to Cambodia (and then Bangkok)