Intensive Third Week in Florence!


My third week in Florence has been filled with many papers and assignments due but I have also been able to make the most of it by attending a few Physician Observations!

The week started with a field trip to Florence’s water treatment plant where we learned about the process in converting the dirty Arno river water into water purified enough to quench the thirst of all the Florentines! It was amazing to see the chemistry being applied on a massive scale and how much safety goes into the application. The plant maintained a strong working system that almost never fails and on top of that, had 3-5 backups for every part of the chemical process to ensure that the water will be of the highest quality. Furthermore, the water is tested about 1000 times a day to ensure it meets regulation standards.

I was also walking around to previously unexplored areas of Florence and I came across this piazza where I saw the coolest sculpture made from tree. A picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll just leave this here for you all to enjoy!

I also officially named La Loggia degli Albizi as my official favorite coffee and pastry shop in the morning. After three weeks of trial and error, I found the perfect place that brews excellent coffee and makes the pastries fresh every morning! If you arrive around 7:30 AM, the pastries are fresh out of the oven and it tastes like the perfect way to treat yourself! Moreover, with every coffee they will give you a glass of sparkling water to wash it down, which is a small personal touch that makes me feel like I’m at a café for kings! To top it all, they are one of the few places that will take credit/debit cards without a minimum purchase so that gets some extra bonus points!

*DISCLAIMER: La Loggia degli Albizi did not pay me anything to write this and are not aware of this article. I just love this café so much that I had to give them a shoutout!*

Furthermore, on Wednesday, I got to tour the historic Santa Maria Nuova hospital which has been running continuously for 700 years! It was interesting to see a modern hospital with antique frescoes and older architecture. It was as if one could walk through the wards and travel through time!

Finally, earlier today I was able to watch a robotic surgery using a Da Vinci Surgical system. The procedure was a partial nephrectomy to remove a tumor growing on the posterior side of the kidney that was about 3cm in length. The doctor who has been practicing since 2004 told me he worked 6 years as a urologist doing normal surgery procedures and when the hospital got the Da Vinci in 2010, has been using it since. The outcomes are much better with minimal complications to the patients afterwards, 90% of patients don’t even run a fever! Watching the procedure from start to finish was a great experience and while Santa Maria Nuova hospital took me through history, this hospital has brought me into the future!

Here is a quick video showing how it works:

Thanks for reading and while I know this post is short, I spent a lot of time doing writing assignments and preparing for a final presentation for one of my classes. If any of you are interested in reading any of my papers, please let me know! I wrote one on the historical significance of olive oil throughout history and another disagreeing with the authors of our textbook on how a molecule was wrongfully assigned blame for the persecution of witches historically (both very fascinating reads!). Finally, I did a final presentation on the element of gold and described the historical significance, the alchemist who tried to turn lead into gold, and discussed the philosophical and theological principals behind it!

Plenty more exciting things to come as I will take a trip to Cinque Terre for this three day weekend and I will be sure to take lots of pictures and look for great gelato!



Fouad Albadrasawi

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